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Parts of state in 'extreme' drought; City of Minneapolis asks residents to conserve water

A press release says the City of Minneapolis will not put sprinkling conditions in place yet, but will put measures in place if the drought worsens.

MINNEAPOLIS — Megan O’Mera owns a home in south Minneapolis. When it comes to maintaining her yard, she says, “it’s a work in progress.”

“Everything is just brown,” said O’Mera. “We try to be careful, but I will say we just put in sod this summer, so we have been watering the backyard.”

But that may soon change. The City of Minneapolis announced possible water restrictions as drought conditions continue. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Drought Action Plan, the city is currently under a drought watch.

"This is much more dramatic and impactful this year," said KARE 11 Meteorologist, Laura Betker.

Betker said that although drought conditions aren’t unusual in Minnesota, this year it’s more widespread. One of the highest, called extreme drought, now covers 4% of the state, causing widespread wildfire dangers and record low surface waters. 

"It's the first time since 2013, where we’ve seen an extreme drought in this state," said Betker.

While it will take 2-5 inches of widespread rain in a two-week period to help end the drought, Betker has advice for people looking for tips, like O’Mera. 

"It's OK to let your grass grow brown, it’s not dying, it will start to grow again when we get colder weather and consistent temperature," said Betker.

RELATED: Minneapolis asks residents to conserve water as drought continues

A press release from the city suggested that people seeking ways to conserve water:

  • Water lawns during the coolest part of the day to avoid evaporation. 
  • Only water lawns when needed; according to release, "most lawns only need an inch of water a week."
  • Install low flow showerhead and faucet aerators to shower with instead of taking baths.
  • Turn off the sink faucet while shaving or brushing teeth.
  • Clean vegetables in a large pan instead of letting the water run.
  • For those with a dishwasher, load dishes into it without rinsing them first, and run it only when it's fully loaded.
  • For those without a dishwasher, fill the sink with water to wash dishes by hand instead of letting the water run.
  • Only wash full loads of laundry.

According to the release, Minneapolis is not putting sprinkling conditions in place yet, though it will put measures in place to reduce water use if the drought worsens.

To learn more about current drought conditions in Minnesota, visit the website here.