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Drought conditions have certain areas looking for ways to preserve water

Drought Watch
Posted at 5:58 PM, Jul 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-11 18:23:26-04

WESTMINSTER, Md. — A lot of rain and floods have swept through Maryland over the past week, but that's not enough when it comes to keeping up with the dry conditions.

"We've seen exceptional periods of drought, we are still six inches below in terms for rain this year in terms of where we should be and we still need a lot of rain for here in Maryland,” said WMAR-2 News' Meteorologist Ally Blake.

The Maryland Department of Environment has issued a drought watch in western and centrals regions of the state, asking people to voluntarily cut back on water use.

Blake said there are different levels of droughts and in the summer it can be tricky.

"In the summer, it’s kind of whose the hottest. You get a pop-up shower so it may deluge a couple of spots may get a couple of inches. When it's not the entire area that's where we get issues like we're seeing right now,” said Blake.

This can have quite the effect when it comes to places that rely on a lot of water to function.

Westminster National Golf Course General Manager Ryan Kraushofer said, "I’ve been here 14 years and this is probably the driest we've been in a while.”

The golf course is participating in a study for ways to conserve water and stay in the green during droughts.

"We have some turf grass researchers doing a nationwide research here, we're one of the stops for wetting agents. That helps us to conserve water and helps us to hold water in the ground that way we don't need to irrigate as often,” said Kraushofer.

Each area on the testing site is marked off with different wetting agents to see which product works best. Kraushofer said they also use a moister reader to test the water levels throughout the greens to see which areas need water more than others.

"That way you don't need to run, say this area has five irrigation heads around it, I don't have to turn all five irrigation heads on at once. I can use the hose and just spot treat and use less water by using the hose,” said Kraushofer.

The study is ongoing, each year testing a different area of green on the golf course.

While the Department of Environment said Maryland currently has enough water to meet the needs of residents and businesses, they said conserving now can prevent any future water shortages.