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Monthly Water Resource Summary

March, 2021

Precipitation

For March 2021, Indiana's precipitation was above normal, with average temperature above normal. The statewide monthly precipitation average was 110.5 percent of normal. The overall monthly temperature average for Indiana was 45.5 degrees Fahrenheit or 4.8 degrees above normal.

Seven of the nine climate divisions received above to well above normal precipitation for the month of March. Climate Division 6 (EC) received the lowest (91.6) percentage of normal precipitation for the month, while Climate Division 4 (WC) received the highest (132.8) percentage.

For the year to date, six of the nine climate divisions have received below normal precipitation, ranging from 80.2 percent of normal for Division 6 (EC) to 114.2 percent of normal for Division 8 (SC). For the 2021 water year, which began October 1, 2020, total precipitation is below normal for seven of the nine climate divisions (81.0% to 109.7% percent of normal). Over the longer duration, beginning January 2020, three of the nine climate divisions have received near or above normal precipitation. These range from 83.9 percent for Climate Division 2 (NC) to 111.2 percent for Climate Division 8 (SC).

The 12-month SPI indices shows Climate Division 2 (NC) in the "moderately dry" category; with all the remaining climate divisions in the "near normal" category. The 6-month, 3-month and 1-month SPI indices show all the climate divisions in the "near normal" category.

U. S. Drought Monitor

For March 30, 2021, the U.S. Drought Monitor shows that the northern third of Indiana is experiencing moderate drought or abnormally dry conditions. The U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook predicts drought conditions are likely to end for much of the northern third of Indiana by the end of June 2021.

Streamflow

In March 2021, three of the twelve streams included in drought reporting since 1999 had stream flow below normal or much below normal.  The Kankakee River at Shelby had the lowest mean monthly flow at 73%, and Sugar Creek at Crawfordsville had the highest mean monthly flow at 154%.

Detailed Information on Streamflow

Lake Michigan

On March 26, 2021, the Lake Michigan-Huron forecasted water level was two inches below the measurement taken on February 26, 2021, and twelve inches below the measurement taken March 26, 2020. On March 31, 2021 the Michigan-Huron level was 580.54 feet, which is about 54 inches above the lowest recorded monthly mean level for March set in 1964. Comparison of March monthly mean water levels to the long-term (1918-present) average shows Lakes Michigan-Huron water level was about 25 inches above the average. All Lake Michigan-Huron data are referenced to the International Great Lakes Datum 1985.

The Lake Michigan-Huron water level is forecast by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to rise 3 inches through April 26, 2021.

Reservoirs

On March 31, 2021, water levels for all eight reservoirs monitored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were above the normal pool elevation. The deviation from normal pools ranged 0.4 feet (Brookville) to 15.2 feet (Cagles Mill).

All three reservoirs monitored by Citizens Energy Group (Morse, Geist, and Eagle Creek) were above their respective normal pool elevations as of March 31, 2021.  The deviation from normal pools ranged from 0.26 feet (Eagle Creek) to 0.52 feet (Morse).

Groundwater Levels

As of April 4, 2021, new water level data is available for all of the nine wells currently monitored.

Of the nine wells monitored, data indicates the groundwater levels are currently near normal for Vigo 7 and Posey 3. Groundwater levels are below to well below normal for LaPorte 9, Fulton 7, Lagrange 2, Morgan 4, Randolph 3, Harrison 8 and Clark 20.

Real-time data are available for all nine observation wells. The real-time information may be accessed on the following U.S. Geological Survey website:
http://waterdata.usgs.gov/in/nwis/current/?type=gw

Acknowledgments
This report has been compiled from Division of Water data and from information supplied by the following:

Precipitation data:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service, Midwestern Regional Climate Center

Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI):
National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) and Western Regional Climate Center (WRCC)

Streamflow:
U.S. Geological Survey and State of Indiana cooperative program

Lake Michigan level data:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District

Reservoir data:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville District

Groundwater level data:
U.S. Geological Survey and State of Indiana cooperative program

Temperature data:
Midwestern Regional Climate Center and Indiana State Climate Office, Purdue University