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Drought Watch: Dramatic Effects on Agriculture and River Levels
by Scott Broom
Leesburg, Va. (WUSA) The drought watch issued for the Washington metro region is best illustrated by conditions on area farms and by a visit to the Potomac River upstream from Washington.
On John Whitmore’s farm north of Leesburg, an entire crop of sweet corn is a total loss. “Its not just dramatic to look at, its a significant financial hit,” Whitmore said, noting his planting costs were about $10,000.
Corn that would normally tower high above Whitmore’s head is now withered and only knee high.
Whitmore’s continues to operate his popular Farmer John’s Fruit and Vegetable Market on Rt. 15 selling vegetables from fields that are irrigated. Unfortunately, his corn is not on a water system.
The governors of Virginia and Maryland have both begun the process of seeking federal disaster assistance for crop losses.
Meanwhile, water levels on the nearby Potomac River are so low that it’s possible to wade from shore to shore in some sections.
The Potomac is the water source for about 90% of the region’s population.
The drought watch issued by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments asks residents and businesses in the area to voluntarily conserve water.
Written by Scott Broom
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