MLW stands for “mean low water.” It refers to the water depth at an average low tide. However, there are a few other factors to consider. First, the MLW measurement in the multiple list system is usually provided by the seller. Sellers have been known to “over-estimate” the MLW at their docks. Second, water depth in the Annapolis area is frequently controlled more by the wind than the tide, so you can have high tide and low water depth simultaneously if the wind is strong from the north. “Mr. Waterfront” Buyer Experts have a system for establishing “true” normal water depth based on marine growth on the pilings. Ask one of them to explain the system and measure the water the next time you are out looking at homes.