The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has announced that the Mississippi Headwaters watershed has entered the drought warning response phase as described in the Minnesota Statewide Drought Plan. The City of Minneapolis is within the Mississippi Headwaters watershed and draws its water supply from the Mississippi River. The Joint Water Commission (JWC) cities of Golden Valley, Crystal, and New Hope purchase water from the City of Minneapolis. After treatment and purification, the water is pumped to its customers throughout the metro area. Each city maintains its own distribution system and utility billing, meter reading and water sampling functions.
Thanks in large part to the responsible water use from JWC water users, JWC cities are not implementing watering restrictions at this time. Nevertheless, everyone is encouraged to conserve water during this very dry summer period to help prevent the need for restrictions in the coming days.
Until conditions improve, the JWC encourages residents and businesses to help conserve water by following these tips:
- Water during the coolest part of the day- If your plants need water, water in the early morning or later evening.
- Water grass as needed – Most lawns only need an inch of water a week. Turn off any automatic watering controls. Only turn the water on when your lawn shows signs of excessive dryness.
- Prioritize tree watering- Proactively water your trees. Drought conditions cause stress to trees and threaten our urban tree canopy.
- Mulch your trees and plants – Mulch helps prevent water evaporation and prevents some weed growth.
- Leave grass clippings in place – Grass clippings provide shade for the soil.
- Let the grass grow longer to prevent premature dying – Let grass stay longer than normal.
- Check for leaks – Leaks in hoses, pipes, couplings or sprinklers are a significant source of wasted water.
- Invest in a rain barrel – Water collected in these barrels can be used for watering flower gardens and lawns.
The JWC is working with the City of Minneapolis, the State, and other community water suppliers to ensure appropriate and adequate drought response measures are implemented. They will continue to actively monitor drought conditions and share additional information as necessary.