and the environment in Maryland – current trends
and future prospects
to the United Nations, in July 2005 the world had 6.5
billion inhabitants. Despite declining fertility levels
projected over 2005-2050, the world population is expected
to reach 9.1 billion. Most of this growth will occur in
the developing world. At the global level, continued population
growth until 2050 is inevitable, even if fertility rates
continue to decline.
and declining rates of growth due to low fertility rates
in developed nations as a whole is expected to stabilize
population over the period between 2005 and 2050 at about
1.2 billion. However, the United States is expected to
grow during this period, from 300 million at present to
395-420 million. This is largely due to current migration
patterns. The United States is projected to remain the
largest receiving country, with 1.1 million newcomers
expected annually by 2050. In contrast, the population
of the 50 least developed countries is projected to more
than double, increasing from 0.8 billion in 2005 to 1.7
billion in 2050.
life expectancy at birth is expected to continue rising,
reaching 75 years in 2045-
2050; 82 years in developed countries. The proportion
of people aged 60 years or older is projected to increase
from 20 to 32 percent by 2050 in developed nations.
Maryland’s population has experienced a boom due
to its proximity to Washington, D.C., primarily in the
Baltimore-Washington corridor counties. Most of the growth
occurred during the 1980s (13% growth) and 1990s (11%
growth). Since 1970, the state’s population has
increased by one third, with the majority concentrated
in southern Maryland (141%) followed by the upper eastern
shore (59%), the Washington region (48%) and the lower
eastern shore (47%). Regions experiencing decreasing rates
of growth include the Baltimore region and western Maryland.
Demographically, most of the growth has occurred in the
65+ age category, which has doubled since 1970. The 20-44
and 45-64 age groups have increased by about half, and
the <20 population has remained approximately constant.
The population of non-whites has likewise increased by
150%, while whites have increased by only about 10%.
of the 2000 census, Maryland was the 19th most populated
state with close to 5.25 million residents, and is projected
to become the 16th largest state by 2030. The U.S. projected
growth over this period is slightly above 29%, while Maryland
is expected to grow about 33%, to 6.7 million. Geographically
speaking, much of the growth is projected to occur in
southern Maryland and the upper eastern shore, with the
remaining regions following the state average. Between
2000 and 2030, the 65+ group is expected to double again,
while all other age groups are expected to increase 20%
or less. Likewise, the population of non-whites is expected
to continue to increase by over 50%, while whites will
increase only 12%, mimicking nationwide trends. The age
and ethnic composition of Maryland's population will thus
continue to evolve over the next 25 years.
Population Prospects: The 2004 Revision. 2005. Population
Division, United Nations, New York. (PDF, 2.19 MB)
Interim Projections by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin.
2004. U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division, Population
and Projected Total Population for Maryland's Jurisdictions.
2005. Maryland Department of Planning State Data Center.
(PDF, 16 KB)
of 2005, according to the World Bank, the world had
a Gross Total Income of $45 trillion, with a Gross
National Income per capita average of $6,987. Projections
for 2050 vary enormously, but the consensus
is that the world economy will continue to grow. According
to the scenarios proposed by the Millennium Ecosystem
Assessment, rates of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth
per year will lie between 1% and 5% depending on
the scenario. In the document The
Road to 2050, The World Bank suggests that by
2050 the economy will increase to $135 trillion in
2050, with 60% of that GDP remaining in industrialized
report by PricewaterhouseCoopers suggests that by the
year 2050, the "E7”-Emerging 7" economies — China,
India, Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, Mexico and Turkey — will
have outstripped the current G7 — US, Japan, Germany,
UK, France, Italy and Canada - by between 25% when comparing
GDP using market exchange rates to around 75% when using
purchasing power parity (PPP) exchange rates. The rise
of the E7 economies should boost average income levels
in OECD countries by creating new market opportunities,
although undoubtedly there will be many losers as well.
In terms of GDP per capita in PPP terms, the United States
is predicted to have the highest by 2050 with $88,443,
doubling today’s values, with other OECD and E7 countries
converging towards those high incomes.
its small geographic size, Maryland has a large and
dynamic economy. Its total economic output as of 2005
exceeds that of independent nations such as Ireland
and Greece. The Washington-Baltimore corridor is especially
active in terms of business growth and job creation.
In 2005, Maryland had the second highest median household
income in the United States: $61,592, and the fourth
highest per capita personal income: $41,996. Per capita
income is projected to keep increasing, reaching $48,955
by 2030. Unemployment is relatively low at 4.1%, below
the national average. Maryland also has the second
lowest poverty rate in the United States, 8.2%,
compared to a nationwide rate of 13.3% (2005).
top employing industries in the State are trade, transportation
and utilities, supporting over 18% of the workforce.
These sectors are followed by professional and business
services (15%), and education and health services (13.5%).
Local government employment is also significant with
over a 9% share of total employment. The current workforce
of over 2.9 million people (2005) is projected to increase
to almost 3.4 million by 2030, with a slight decline
in proportion with respect to the total population:
67.4% to 63.6%
John. 2006. The
World in 2050. How big will the major emerging market
economies get and how can the OECD compete?.
Department of Business and Economic Development. 2006. Maryland
Department of Labor. Maryland
Career and Workforce Information. Office of
Labor Market Analysis and Information.
Ecosystem Assessment. 2005. Ecosystems
and Human Well-being: Synthesis. Island
Press, Washington, DC.
Road to 2050. Sustainable Development for the 21st
Century. 2006. The World Bank. Washington D.C. Part
Development Data & Statistics. The
energy consumption is projected to increase by 71%
from 2003 to 2030, with fossil fuels continuing as
the dominant supply source. In the United States, energy
consumption is projected to increase by 1.2% per year
until 2025. The impact of economic and population
growth will be dampened by a decrease in the energy
intensity of achieved by structural changes in the
economy, technological progress and energy price increases.
Energy demand in industrialized countries will increase
at a slower pace than in developing countries. By 2030,
more than half of the world energy demand is expected
to come from developing countries.
oil production is projected to increase by about 65%
over the period 2000-2030, whereas coal production
is expected to double. Fossil fuel prices are expected
to increase, but economic growth is projected to keep
up with demand. Renewable energy sources are expected
to increase from 8% to 9% share of energy consumption
by 2030. A resurgence of nuclear power to generate
electricity is also expected. There is no anticipated
shortage of fossil fuels by 2030.
In 2030, world CO2 emissions are expected to reach more
than twice the level of 1990; with developing countries
reaching 50% of world CO2 emissions in 2030, despite compliance
with the Kyoto protocol3,2. U.S. emissions are projected
to increase by 1.2%/year until 20302. Massive technology
improvements, carbon capture and storage, the use of nuclear
energy, efficiency and renewable energies at all levels
are cited as necessary to reverse those trends and actually
reduce emissions in the future4. According to the International
Energy Agency, power generation can be substantially de-carbonized
by 2050, whereas de-carbonizing transport will take longer.
Maryland is ranked 41st in per capita energy consumption
and 24th in total energy consumption in the United States.
In terms of overall sources of energy, Maryland does not
differ much from the rest of the United States, whose shares
of energy sources are approximately the following as of
20037: Around 40% from petroleum, 23% from coal, 24% from
natural gas, 10% from nuclear power and 6% from hydropower
and other renewables. Electricity demand in Maryland is
expected to increase approximately 32% from 2006 to 2025.8
2006, the Maryland Legislature passed the Healthy Air
Act, which establishes caps for nitrous oxide, sulphur
dioxide and mercury for most of Maryland’s coal-fired
power plants. The act also requires Maryland to enter
the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) by 30 June
2007, which is developing a plan to cap carbon dioxide
emissions from power plants at 1990 levels beginning
in 2009, and to reduce emissions by 10 percent from those
levels by 2018.6
Information Administration. International
Energy Outlook 2006. June 2006.
Information Administration. Annual
Energy Outlook 2006 with Projections to 2030.
Commission. 2003. EUR
20366 — World
energy, technology and climate policy outlook 2030 — WETO.
Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European
Communities 2003 — VI.
Energy Agency. Energy
Technology Perspectives: Scenarios and Strategies to
-12 July 2006.
Information Administration. Petroleum Profile:
Maryland. September 2006. (31
Department of Natural Resources. Maryland
Power Plant Research Program. September 2006.
Information Administration. State
Data. Table S3.
Energy Consumption Estimates by Source, 2003.
Greenhouse Gas Initiatives. IPM
Energy Modeling Assumptions Document. February
2, 2005. p. 31.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has conducted
extensive research on the current status and projections
of climate change, including impacts on various economic
sectors. With high confidence, surface temperatures are
expected to rise 1.4-5.8°C, on average, with the greatest
increases occurring in high latitudes. IPCC research focuses
a great deal of attention on the impact of rising temperatures
on precipitation patterns, agricultural yields, vector-
and water-borne disease, sea level rise, water quality
and supply, energy consumption, etc. An additional concern
is the asymmetric distribution of impacts geographically.
Africa, Asia, Latin America, and small island nations
are expected to be most vulnerable to extreme precipitation
events (droughts and floods), loss in agricultural yield,
availability and quality of freshwater, spread of malaria
and other climate-related disease, and loss of coastal
property via sea level rise. Many developed nations also
face similar risks due to climate change impacts, but
to a lesser degree based on greater adaptation and mitigation
potentials. As a result, developing nations are the most
vulnerable and also show the least potential for active
Maryland’s position in a developed nation, risks
of climate change are worth considering. The average temperature
in College Park has risen nearly 1.5°C over the last
century, and parts of the Appalachian region have experienced
up to 10% increases in annual precipitation. Projections
through 2100 include an additional 1.5+°C increase
and an increase in precipitation of 20%. This increase
may offset heightened evaporation rates due to increased
temperature, but will likely vary geographically. Average
sea level in Maryland is expected to rise nearly 2 feet
by 2100, but models produce a wide range of possible scenarios.
Beach erosion in popular tourist destinations is expected
to impose large costs through the growing need for beach
replenishment. Agricultural yield is poorly understood,
but major crops (i.e. corn and soybeans) will likely experience
changed growing conditions, including higher summer temperatures,
an increase in frost-free days, variable soil moisture,
and increased carbon dioxide fertilization. The direction
and magnitude of yield changes are uncertain.
Change 2001: Impacts, Vulnerability, and Adaptation,
2001. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Working
Change and Maryland, 1998. EPA Office of Policy. (PDF,
global picture for fresh water supply is particularly
worrisome. According to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment,
fresh water withdrawal is already unsustainable. From
5% to possibly 25% of global freshwater use exceeds long-term
accessible supplies and is now met either through engineered
water transfers or overdraft of groundwater supplies.
Some 15–35% of irrigation withdrawals exceed supply
rates. Water scarcity and declining access to fresh water
affect 1–2 billion people worldwide. Although water
management systems such as dams and reservoirs have made
water supply more reliable in some regions, wetland degradation
has deteriorated water supply worldwide. Pollution and
biodiversity loss in inland water systems are significant
concerns as well.
2050 there is medium to high certainty that global demand
for water will increase sharply, while supplies continue
to deteriorate, although less so in scenarios with more
proactive environmental policies. In any case, major and
unavoidable policy decisions will have to be made that
address trade-offs among current uses of water resources
and between current and future uses. Of particular importance
are choices among agricultural production, water quality,
land use, biodiversity, irrigation and household water
of the projected 20% increase in population by 2030, water
supply in Maryland could become strained in the future.
Overall, water demand is expected to increase 16%, but
Southern Maryland is expected to see a 40% increase. The
other major growth area is the Eastern Shore, with an
anticipated 30% increase in water demand. In general,
Maryland’s physiographic regions include the Coastal
Plain (southern/eastern), Piedmont (central), and Appalachian
Plateau (western). While surface water contributes to
western/central water supplies, the Coastal Plain relies
exclusively on confined aquifers, which are much more
sensitive to over-withdrawal. This region happens to coincide
with the areas of highest water demand increase. Care
must be taken to ensure that aquifer water levels remain
sufficient and are given adequate recharge time in the
future. Historically Maryland has maintained adequate
supply, even through droughts, with management. More modeling
efforts are needed to quantify supply under future climate
scenarios, especially for the closed aquifer system in
the Coastal Plain.
Ecosystem Assessment, 2005. Ecosystems
and Human Well-Being: Wetlands and Water Synthesis.
World Resources Institute, Washington, DC. (PDF, 6.52
Ecosystem Assessment. 2005. Ecosystems
and Human Well-being: Synthesis. Island Press, Washington,
DC. (PDF, 14.9 MB)
Report, 2004. Maryland Department of Environment,
Advisory Committee on the Management and Protection of
the State's Water Resources. (PDF, 2.1 MB)
a global scale, production of agricultural commodities
has increased, but at a decreasing rate since the 1960s.
Annual growth in production has fallen from 3% to 2%,
which is partially due to the slowing down of population
growth (from 2% to 1.3% annually since the 1960s).
Most of the rise in production has come from developing
countries. Likewise, demand for agricultural products
has decreased, but varies widely amongst products and
regions. The basic food stuffs (meat, cereals, and
dairy) have decreased, but products such as vegetables,
oils, and eggs have increased. Developing countries
have increased their demand faster than developed countries,
but production has lagged somewhat, necessitating imports.
Africa and southern Asia rely most heavily on agriculture
as a source of GDP and exports. However, these regions
and South America have agricultural trade deficits
and malnutrition rates in excess of 20%. This is in
sharp contrast to many developed nations, which typically
have a smaller share of agricultural GDP, higher consumption,
but a positive trade balance. Trade reform is an increasingly
important issue due to the plethora of protected markets
and tariffs, in addition to the ever-growing world population.
With trade reform, agricultural growth
in developing countries leading to greater food security
is anticipated, but the methods and
timing of reform are critical in determining the
direction of change.
has been an integral part of Maryland’s
culture and economy, especially in the more rural counties.
Like the trend for United States as a whole, Maryland
is losing agricultural land. Though both state and national
declines have been slowing since the mid-1980s, Maryland’s
rate of loss is twice that of the United States as a
whole. Most of the decline is due to suburban sprawl.
The development value, per acre, of Maryland farmland
is nearly triple the value of production from an average
American farm acre, which creates incentives for development
as opposed to agricultural production.
almost all remaining farmers in and around metropolitan/suburban
areas use farming as secondary income; by itself, farming
no longer produces enough income to sustain a family.
The relative lack of profitability of farming in Maryland
has discouraged younger farmers. The average Maryland
farmer is 54 years old, a demographic trend that has
been on the rise since 1980. Corn
and soybeans are the major state crops, but livestock,
barley, and nursery commodities are thriving compared
to national sales. On
the supply side, farms bringing in profits of more
than $100,000 annually represent only 20% of Maryland
farms, yet generate 90% of the state’s
sales. At the other end of the spectrum, farms bringing
in profits of less than $10,000
represent 50% of farms but account for less than 2% of
all Maryland agricultural sales. Decreasing returns
on farming have adversely affected smaller farms.
for Agricultural and Natural Resource Policy, University
of Maryland, no date. Economic
Situation and Prospects for Maryland Agriculture Policy
Analysis Report 02-01 (PDF 383 KB, 110 pp.)
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Commodity Policy and Projections Service,
Commodities and Trade Division, 1999. Salient
trends in world agricultural production, demand, trade. FAO
Symposium on Agriculture, Trade, and Food Security: Issue
and options in the forthcoming WTO negotiations from
the perspective of developing countries. Geneva, Switzerland.
information is available from the Harry
Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology, Inc. The Center, affiliated
with the University of Maryland College of Agriculture
& Natural Resources has been involved with many research
projects relating to the changing role of agriculture
and forestry in Maryland.
cover change in the Eastern United States from the
1970s to 2000, the primary manifestations of change
are timber harvesting and urban growth. A considerable
amount of land is cycling from forest to cleared conditions
and back to forest. Another persistent trend in the
region is the conversion of agricultural lands to forest
and urban land uses. Urban development, including
transportation networks, has increased and accelerated
across the region. There are a large number of transitional,
disturbed lands such as grasslands/shrublands/forest
clearings, both as a consequence of timber harvesting
practices and urban development. Other land cover types
are seeing modest change in cover, such as mining areas,
water bodies, and wetlands. Within the whole area,
regional variations are significant, with higher rates
of change occurring on the Coastal Mid Atlantic and
Southeast, and less so west of the Appalachians and
in the Northeast.
of its growing population and relatively high population
density (see Population Summary),
land use has become an increasingly important topic
for a geographically limited state such as Maryland.
The Baltimore-Washington corridor contains much of
the state's urban development, but areas such as
the eastern shore and counties peripheral to major
urban areas will see increased rates of suburban growth
in the upcoming decades. The State of Maryland is aware
of this trend and enacted the Smart Growth Act
of 1997, creating the Office of Smart Growth, to conscientiously
foster economic development and prevent unplanned
sprawl. Crucial to Maryland's smart growth planning
is the designation of “Priority
Funding Areas”, or PFAs, as the hubs of
future development. As shown on this PFA
map, the state is committed to containing growth
within the Baltimore-Washington corridor, within both
and around already-existing population centers throughout
the states. This
type of policy clearly has its benefits and drawbacks,
including the opportunity to channel development away
from ecologically sensitive and valuable areas on
the one hand, but logistical concerns regarding the
ability of PFAs to absorb further development and maintain
housing affordability on the other hand.
have been made to model future land use changes in
Maryland. One such study (Jantz et al., 2003) used
an urban development model, SLEUTH, to quantify growth
in the Baltimore-Washington corridor under three policy
scenarios: 1) current trends, 2) managed growth, and
3) ecologically sustainable growth. Under current trends,
land outside state-designated PFAs, forests, and agricultural
areas do not enjoy a high degree of protection from
development; managed growth reflects a stronger commitment
to spatially focused growth and resource protection,
and strongly protects wetlands and tidal zones;
ecologically sustainable growth employs higher standards
of protection, limited growth, and no new roads. Results
of the SLEUTH projection to 2030 include development
increases of 110 km2/yr, 41 km2/yr, and 28 km2/yr,
respectively, for scenarios 1, 2, and 3. Continued
modeling efforts will help quantify and guide development
and land management policy.
et al., 2003. "Using the SLEUTH urban growth model
to stimulate the impacts of future policy scenarios
on urban land use in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan
area". Environmental Planning and Design B.
T. and Acevedo, W. Land Cover Change in the Eastern
United States. United States Geological Survey. http://eros.usgs.gov/LT/LCCEUS.html.
(3 November 2006).
Department of Planning Smart Growth Website
much of the rest of the country, some serious infrastructure
challenges await Maryland in the upcoming decades. Some
of the more pressing needs will involve water supply
and electrical infrastructures.
large portion of the country’s piping was built
in the late 1800s of cast iron and has a life
expectancy of about 120 years. Cast iron piping continued
to be used through the 1960s. New pipe technology has
been used since the early 20th century, but is unfortunately
less durable (75-100 years). Continued degradation of
older piping has led to many line breaks. The American
Society of Civil Engineers documents that Maryland loses
an estimated 66 million gallons of drinking water per
day due to these breaks and other inadequacies in the
distribution infrastructure. Line breaks are
also related to water quality, since breaks are known
to enhance the spread of water-borne disease. Due to
health concerns and the aging of Maryland’s
infrastructure, utilities will need to begin replacing
their infrastructure, which is a huge expense. According
to the Water and Science Technology Board, the percentage
of piping needing replacement, on an annual basis, will
rise from about 0.25% to 2.0% by 2035. For financial
and logistical reasons, 2% is a very challenging percentage,
and is expected to impose significant costs on utilities
and customers. Cost estimates from several technology
organizations range from 7.5 to 23 billion dollars annually
for the country as a whole; ASCE anticipates a $1.7 billion
investment for the state of Maryland over the course
of the next 20 years.
of Maryland’s electrical generation capacity
comes from plants that are more than 30 years old;
two-thirds of these plants are coal plants. Nuclear
power, exclusively developed in the 1970s, contributes
14% of total capacity, yet is encountering major maintenance
issues. Younger plants contribute less
to the total generation capacity, and typically use
natural gas, petroleum/natural gas mixtures, or renewables
as their fuel of choice. Yet these plants only contribute
one-third of Maryland’s
generation capacity. In total, as of 2005, the state’s
electricity generation capacity stands at 12,500 MW.
Major additions that are currently online include a
600 MW nuclear plant in Frederick County, and a 100
MW plant in Garrett County
provision of electricity to Maryland residents has
changed significantly over the last few decades. In
the summer of 2000, Maryland underwent initial deregulation
of its electric utilities, which is continuing to be
worked through logistically. Maryland’s transmission
company (PJM) is the sole provider of energy for much
of the Mid-Atlantic region, and is planning an expansion.
This should help ensure the availability of electricity
during peak load times by relying on distant sources.
Continued growth of demand due to population growth
will likely challenge electrical supply through
the upcoming decades.
American Water Works Service Company, Engineering Dept,
Buried Infrastructure Management Challenges and Strategies
American Water Works Association, 2001. Dawn
of the replacement era: reinvesting in drinking water
Public Services Commission, 2004. Ten-year
plan (2004-2013) of electric companies in Maryland
EPA Water Science and Technology Board, 2006. Drinking
Water Distribution Systems: Assessing and Reducing Risks
American Society of Civil Engineers, 2005. Report
card for America's Infrastructure: Maryland
Chesapeake Bay (based on Chesapeake Futures report)
the past century,
coastal ecosystems worldwide have been those most affected
by habitat loss, overexploitation, pollution and invasion
of exotic species. Climate change
is already having a moderate impact on the Bay and is
poised to exert greater influence in the near future.
Likewise, local pollution of the Chesapeake Bay has been
one of the leading environmental concerns in recent years. Agriculture
has been the primary polluter, nutrients from fertilizers
(e.g. nitrogen and phosphorus) running off the land into
streams feeding the bay. Nutrient
loading has been proven to increase algal and floating
which causes bottom-water oxygen levels to plummet. The
end result is the suffocation of bottom-dwelling organisms,
disruption of marine food webs and creation of toxic
waters. Water pollution also kills marine life and can
impact humans through contaminated drinking water and
seafood. The Chesapeake 2000 agreement was enacted to
improve conditions and protect the bay from future
harm, and was one of the first major efforts to address
of the recent trends affecting the Chesapeake Bay are:
use conversion and development
and sediment loading
(lack of oxygen)
populations and habitat of crabs and oysters
to the Chesapeake Futures report, the health
of the Bay in 2030 will be affected primarily by land
use and development trends, the extent and connectivity
of forests, agricultural and urban pollution
control technology, and overall ecosystem health. The
report used three scenarios to explore the state of the
Bay in the year 2030:
Trends: status quo, business as usual. Developed
land will increase by 60%; nutrient loading will continue
to grow; deforestation will begin again, increasing
habitat fragmentation; 700,000 acres of agricultural
land will be lost and farming will become less economical;
coastline erosion will accelerate and tidal wetlands
will be lost due to rising sea level; submerged aquatic
vegetation beds will contract; etc.
Objectives: maintain Chesapeake 2000 and other
acres of forest and agricultural land will be developed;
nitrogen and phosphorus loading will decrease, by 9%
and 21%, respectively; forest cover will decline
though exhibit less fragmentation; only 400,000 acres
of farmland will be lost; sedimentation will decrease
though coastal erosion will continue; submerged vegetation
will thrive; biological diversity will increase and
fisheries will become more productive.
Alternatives: more aggressive policies and technology
innovation. The most sustainable of
the three scenarios, total development loss will be only
350,000 acres; sedimentation and nutrient loading will
decrease further; forest cover and riparian buffers
will increase; only 300,000 acres of farmland will
be lost; agricultural nutrient leaching will be controlled;
water quality and oxygen levels will drastically improve;
and biological diversity and resilience will improve.
Future recommends following the “Feasible
Alternatives” scenario. The factors
controlling scenario characteristics (technological development,
environmental policies, economic and population growth,
etc.) are interdisciplinary issues which require
extensive policy reform and collaboration across government,
the private sector, and among individual citizens.
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005. Ecosystems
and Human Well-Being: Wetlands and Water Synthesis.
World Resources Institute, Washington, DC. (PDF,
Futures, 2003. Chesapeake Bay Program’s
Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee, Edgewater,