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EFFECT OF CURRENT DROUGHT ON WATER RESOURCES IN MAINE
Released: 8/6/1999

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
119 National Center
Reston, VA 20192
Robert Lent (District Chief) 1-click interview
Phone: 207-622-8201 x102



Drought conditions have stretched from the mid-Atlantic states through New England and into Maine. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) monitors these conditions by collecting streamflow and ground-water data. The following paragraphs summarize the current levels of streamflow and ground-water in the Maine.

Streamflows on free-flowing streams

All flows on free-flowing streams in Maine on August 3rd (except for those in northern Maine) were below their long-term median for this date. The long-term median flow is defined as the middle value of a set of flows that are ordered from lowest to highest. For the following rivers, the long term median was based on 48 to 95 years of flow data, depending on the river.

* The lowest streamflows in the state on August 3rd occurred in the southern half of Maine on the Piscatiquis, Carrabassett, Sandy, Swift, Sheepscot, Narraguagus, and Royal Rivers.

* The streamflows on August 3rd for the Piscatiquis, Carrabassett, Sandy, Swift, Sheepscot, Narraguagus, and Royal Rivers were within the lowest 10 percent of recorded flows for this date.

* In northern Maine, the Allagash, Fish, and Aroostook rivers were above their August 3rd median flows.

Current streamflows in Maine are available on the web at http://me.water.usgs.gov

Current streamflows across the Nation are available on the web at http://water.usgs.gov/dwc/national_map.html

Ground water

Ground-water levels across Maine were measured by the USGS from July 19th to July 31st.

* Ground-water levels in western, central, and eastern Maine were below normal (within the lowest 25 percent of recorded data for the end of July).

* Record-low July ground-water levels were recorded in Gray (based on 14 years of recorded data), New Gloucester (based on 10 years of data), Litchfield (based on 21 years of data), Augusta (based on 39 years of data), T24 MD Washington County near Wesley, (based on 14 years of data), Calais (based on 19 years of data), Madison (based on 15 years of data), Stratton (based on 10 years of data), and Eustis (based on 14 years of data).

* Ground-water levels in northern and southern Maine were in the normal range.


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