Northwoods Experience: Drought Conditions Continue to Deepen Throughout Minnesota
According to Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources, more than half the state is experiencing anywhere from severe to extreme drought conditions.
“We’ve experienced some extreme significant shortfalls in precipitation,” said DNR State Climatologist Luigi Romolo. “And what we’re seeing across the state, especially in the areas where you’re seeing severe drought, is a shortage of anywhere from six to eight to 10 inches below rainfall.”
Drought conditions have already hamstrung various counties in Minnesota, forcing them to enter a Drought Restrictive Phase. This phase requires the affected counties to implement significant water conservation measures and reduce consumption to prevent other areas like Brainerd from suffering the same fate.
“So, typically think of water use in the spring and summer,” said DNR Conservation Assistance & Regulation Section Manager Randall Doneen. “Our water use goes up because we’re doing a lot of irrigation, lawn irrigation and other outdoor activities that require water. So trying to reduce those levels down to the January levels, where we don’t have high levels is a way of conserving it. And each community can do it any way that they feel they can: Irrigation restrictions, working with high demand water users on their systems is another way, education of the community.”
Among other precautionary measures, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will continue meeting with the State Drought Task Force to discuss the intensifying drought conditions.