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Minn. Drought Threatens Ground Water Supplies

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota’s worst drought in years is bringing back some bad memories.

Think 1988, when temperatures were so high, and the land so dry, that some could only pray for rain.

But with nearly double the rainfall than at this time in 1988, this year’s drought isn’t as quite bad.

However, with exposed river banks and bone-dry wetlands in places such as Mankato, this drought has potential. In just two months, conditions have quickly turned to severe or extreme drought.

“We’re over 7 inches below average, so it’s been bone-dry as of late and that’s the main problem,” said WCCO Chief Meteorologist Chris Shaffer.

Winter is not a high water usage season, but the DNR is urging the public to conserve as much as possible.

The concern is that we could deplete ground water supplies in some areas by next year.

Dave Leuthe, DNR Deputy Director for the Division of Ecological and Water Resources, says “The ground water levels have been showing some decline, and over the long term, that’s not good.”

The DNR is encouraging water conservation inside the home, with tips as simple as only running the washing machine for a full load and taking shorter showers.

“Everybody does a little bit, and so if they’re more careful with their water use, it reduces demand on the system,” Leuthe said.

And Minnesotan’s have to be more careful than others. According to the DNR, on average Minnesota households are using more water than many other states.

For more tips on conserving water in your home or business click here.

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