Minnesota DNR: It's time for everyone to conserve water - KMSP-TV

Minnesota DNR: It's time for everyone to conserve water

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is urging everyone to conserve water as drought conditions strain the state's water resources

"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."

Landwehr says 75 percent of Minnesotans depend on groundwater for their drinking water supply.

Public water suppliers have been contacted by the DNR and should start to implement conservation measures outlined in their water supply plans. These could include water audits, leak detection and promoting water conservation to customers.

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

HOW DROUGHT CONDITIONS ARE STRAINING MINNESOTA'S WATER RESOURCES

  • Water conflicts between users and uses are emerging in more places.
  • Nearly one-half of the state is in severe drought or worse; severe drought is considered a one in 10-year event; extreme drought is considered a one in 20-year event.
  • The extent and geographic distribution of the current drought is rivaling the extreme drought event of the late 1980s.
  • 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.
  • White Bear Lake's water level has hit its lowest point on record.
  • It is a dire situation going into the 2013 growing season.

How to conserve water
www.dnr.state.mn.us/waters/watermgmt_section/appropriations/conservation.html

Drought fact sheet
www.dnr.state.mn.us/climate/drought/index.html

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