What can I do about a Minnesota drought?

Dear Sam, 

What can you tell me about the drought conditions in Minnesota? Are there steps that individuals can take to mitigate the issue? 




Dear Lauren, 

Unfortunately there are parts of Minnesota that are currently experiencing extreme drought, namely the Twin Cities area and the southwestern part of the state. Although Minnesota is known as the land of 10,000 lakes, the seeming abundance of water is in a dire situation in many parts of the state. This may come as no surprise to folks living by Minnehaha Creek, which has been dry for a large part of the year. As covered in this Updraft report from October 6, “Rainfall deficits are now running more than 8 inches below average this year in the Twin Cities” according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Recently, the Department of Natural Resources has asked that MN residents voluntarily cut back on water use. According to the DNR, the average Minnesotan uses 52 gallons of water, per person, per day – but there are ways to cut back on that number. Things like not running water when shaving or brushing teeth, taking shorter showers, and maximizing laundry loads are some of the actions we can take to reduce water use at home. It’s a seemingly simple ask, until Minnesota is back on track. 

The first step is knowing your average usage. The DNR recommends this online Water Use Calculator. The calculator walks you through a series of questions to estimate your household water use and then makes recommendations on where you can cut back and  improve efficiency. You can explore the MN DNR Water Conservation for Residents webpage for ideas on how to conserve water, too.