Drought conditions are straining Minnesota's water resources, and state officials are urging everyone to adopt water conservation measures.
The Department of Natural Resources is asking agricultural, commercial and industrial water users to stop outdoor irrigation and to take conservation measures now.
DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr says that at a time when per-capita water consumption is decreasing nationwide, Minnesota's water use per resident is actually increasing. Since parts of the state are in their second year of drought, he says it's time to take water conservation more seriously.
Nearly one-half of Minnesota is in severe drought or worse, rivaling the extreme drought of the late 1980s. Large areas of Minnesota have missed the equivalent of two summertime month's worth of rain.