Maryland environmental officials have placed the Eastern Shore under a drought warning, encouraging water systems, residents and businesses to restrict water use.
The warning is based on rainfall levels slipping to 70 percent of normal and well levels dropping well below normal. Some streams measured as indicators are at less than 5 percent of normal flow, considered "emergency" levels, according to the Maryland Department of the Environment.
Central Maryland, not including the area tapped into Baltimore's water system, remains under a drought watch.
In a drought warning, MDE requires weekly evaluations of drought conditions, encourages voluntary water use restrictions and requires heightened maintenance and repairs for water systems in government buildings.
"If every Marylander takes even small steps, like fixing leaks, using appliances that save water and waiting to run the dishwasher until it's full, we really can make a difference," MDE Secretary Robert Summers said in a statement.