Minnesota Drought Straining State's Water Resources

By KBJR News 1

drought, White Bear Lake, low water

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    A wetland basin that has dried up east of Mankato

    (Minnesota DNR)

4 photos

October 18, 2012 Updated Oct 17, 2013 at 11:03 AM CDT

St. Paul, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- Minnesota's drought has taken a toll on much of the state from blazing wildfires to dwindling crops. Now the Minnesota DNR is trying to combat diminishing water resources as the state's drought conditions persist.

According to the DNR, nearly one-half of the state is in a severe drought or worse. Large areas of Minnesota have missed the equivalent of two summertime month’s worth of rain.

Soil moisture levels are at or below all-time low values for the end of September and it is already looking like a dire situation for the 2013 growing season.

“Water is essential to our economy, our natural resources, and our quality of life,” said Tom Landwehr, DNR commissioner. “We are in the second year of a drought, and it is time for all of us to take water conservation more seriously.”

The DNR is asking all agricultural, commercial and industrial water users to stop outdoor irrigation and to implement conservation measures.

The DNR is even asking all residents in Minnesota to adopt water conservation measures in order to ease up on the strain on water resources.

Also, everyone who holds a DNR permit for water appropriation should review and abide by their permit conditions and begin conserving water as soon as possible.

“The drought conditions are sobering and call for a collaborative response,” Landwehr said. “At a time that per capita water consumption is decreasing nationwide, Minnesota’s water use per resident is actually increasing. We will need to work together to meet these challenges.”

DNR officials say that dwindling groundwater supplies can taken many years to bounce back after a drought, even when the state's surface waters appear to have recovered.

To read more about Minnesota's drought and how you can conserve water, you can visit the Minnesota DNR's website.

Posted to the web by Krista Burns