Withered D.C. Region Cries for Water, Cool Water – washingtonpost.com

The grass is brown and crunchy. The leaves are falling off the trees is a steady stream of brown. We haven’t had decent rain since April.

Although I know about the drought, this article surprised me:

But with summer rainstorms evaporating after a few drops from the sky, the talk in many corners of the area has centered on a single subject: water.

That’s especially true on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where more than 100 residents have watched their wells dry up — in part because the state’s largest prison has used almost 10 times its allotted amount of the area’s supply, officials said.

Residents on the lower shore, around Somerset County, say the Eastern Correctional Institution is using too much water from the Manokin aquifer. The prison, which houses 3,350 inmates, is allowed to pump about 25,000 gallons per day. But in recent weeks, Somerset County Administrator Daniel Powell said, water use has risen to more
than 200,000 gallons daily.

State prisons spokesman Mark Vernarelli was quick to defend the prisoners, writing in an e-mail, “Our inmates are not taking hour-long showers or flushing water down the drain to waste.” He said officials are auditing water use and will develop a plan to reduce use even as Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) announced that Maryland will investigate the well failures.

How can a prison use 10 times it’s allotted supply?

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