MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Record water usage in rural parts of southern Minnesota this year has prompted Twin Cities officials to take stock of their own water usage.

For the most part, they are pleased at what they are finding, according to Bernie Bullert, director of distribution for Minneapolis Public Works.

“I think there is a lot of conservation. In Minneapolis we are probably a little on the high side for water rates, so people tend to be more careful about their usage,” said Bullert.

This week, Mankato reported record water usage for June, July, August and September. Bullert said a combination of conservation and high water prices fueled only a modest increase in Minneapolis.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Chris Simon Reports

Last year, the city sold some 16.9 billion gallons of water, and Bullert said this year saw only a five percent increase. Much of the credit also goes to the Twin Cities environment.

“This year we’ll only see an increase to about 17.8 or 17.9 billion gallons, an increase of only about five percent,” said Bullert.

In fact, Bullert said Minneapolis residents are using far less water than just a decade ago when the city was selling about 22 billion gallons a year.

“You know one of the big factors in the reduction is the renovation of older homes and installation of newer dishwashers, toilets and other water using appliance that are more efficient and designed to use less water,” he said.

The cosmopolitan makeup of the Twin Cities, with its small, tree-covered lots and its’ conservation-minded residents also help keep usage to a minimum.

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