(KNSI) – The City of St. Cloud is sending out a renewed plea for residents and business owners to conserve water as drought conditions worsen.
A press release sent out Friday says that the City is requesting residents and business owners restrict their lawn watering to once a week or eliminate all lawn irrigation until the drought conditions improve. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor sent out Thursday, August 5th, shows 35% of Minnesota in extreme drought. That’s a 13% increase from last week. A large portion of Stearns County and almost all of Sherburne County fall into the extreme drought category.
Residents use roughly 14 million gallons of water per day. The last time the request went out, that number dropped to ten million gallons per day but has slowly crept back up, leading to the renewed request.
The National Weather Service Forecast Office in Chanhassen says Minnesota’s rainfall since June 1st is four to eight inches below normal.
Water conservation tips include cutting back on how often you water. The press release says lawns only need one inch of water per week to keep lawns healthy. Leaving grass clippings in place provides shade for the lawn to also prevent moisture loss. When watering, do it early, so more of the water gets absorbed into the soil. Also, make sure your sprinklers are aimed to water your lawn and garden and not a driveway, sidewalk, or patio. Experts say mulch around trees and plants can also help hold in water.
The City asks residents and business owners to check for leaks in hoses, pipes, couplings, or sprinklers to avoid wasting water. Also, to fix running toilets, turn off the tap while brushing your teeth, and use a low flow showerhead and shower versus take a bath as showering uses less water. Running appliances like the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads can also help save water.
To see the latest drought conditions, click here.
For up-to-date water conservation phases, click here.
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