Some Minnesota cities enact watering restrictions amid 'abnormally dry' conditions

24 June 2022

The combination of heat and a lack of rainfall in June has pushed the metro area and several counties in central Minnesota into the “abnormally dry” category, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported Thursday.

And that has prompted several cities to enact watering restrictions.

Minneapolis on Thursday imposed a sprinkling ban from noon to 6 p.m. daily to reduce demand on the Mississippi River, the city’s primary source of water. The city also enacted an even-odd water sprinkling schedule, meaning properties with addresses ending in an even number can water before noon or after 6 p.m. on even days of the month. Property owners with addresses ending in an odd number can water on odd days of the month.

St. Paul has not enacted any such ban as of Friday, said Jodi Wallin of the St. Paul Regional Water Services. But “we encourage people to conserve. Please only use as much as you need.”

In Plymouth, where water use lately has “risen significantly,” lawn watering is restricted from noon to 5 p.m. daily and customers are to follow an odd-even schedule. Similar restrictions are in place In cities such as New Hope, Crystal, Maple Grove and Golden Valley. Robbinsdale restricts watering lawns between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily, with an exception for new sod and plants.

The Twin Cities has received only 0.8 inches of rain in June, which is more than 2 12 inches below normal for the month, according to the Minnesota State Climatology Office. The metro area has also seen five days of temperatures above 90 degrees, including Monday’s record high of 101.

Outside the metro area, all or parts of Kandiyohi, Meeker, McLeod, Renville, Stearns and Wright in central Minnesota, and Faribault, Freeborn and Martin counties in southern Minnesota are considered abnormally dry, the Drought Monitor said.

In those conditions, soil moisture is low, pasture and row crops begin to show signs of stress, fire danger increases and lake and river levels drop, the Drought Monitor said.

The dry areas could see some precipitation Friday night and Saturday, the National Weather Service said. Between a half inch and inch of rain could fall in the metro area with another chance of rain on Tuesday, the Weather Service said.

Temperatures will drop into the mid-70s Sunday before returning to the 80s for the first part of next week, the Weather Service said.

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