In light of drought, Minneapolis and St. Paul set watering restrictions

A lawn shows signs of stress from drought conditions
Minneapolis and St. Paul officials are asking residents to lay off the lawn watering, due to a deepening drought statewide.
Andrew Krueger | MPR News file

Updated: July 21, 7:37 a.m. | Posted: July 20, 7 p.m.

Due to a worsening drought across the state, Minneapolis and St. Paul residents are being asked to water their lawns on an even-odd water schedule and to limit watering to mornings and evenings.

Other communities throughout Minnesota, including Moorhead, Brainerd and Little Falls, also have watering restrictions in place.

Last week, the state Department of Natural Resources said Minnesota has now reached the threshold to trigger the “warning phase” under the statewide drought plan. There's no widespread drought relief in sight this week.

"While we do not anticipate any service issues, these measures will support our water customers as we continue to monitor drought conditions in our community," said St. Paul Regional Water Services general manager Patrick Shea in a news release announcing water conservation measures.

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In both cities, watering lawns is discouraged from noon to 6 p.m.

Outside those hours, the even side of the street can water lawns on even calendar days (July 22, 24, 26 and so forth).

Outside noon to 6 p.m., the odd side of the street can water lawns on odd calendar days (July 21, 23, 25 and so forth).

Both cities include some exceptions, such as watering new sod or vegetable gardens.

Minneapolis also says bushes and flowers can be watered with a handheld hose as needed. Trees can also be watered with a dripping hose, bucket or tree watering bag as needed.

Watering restrictions throughout Minnesota

A number of communities in Minnesota are encouraging residents to limit their water use, or have implemented watering restrictions — even outright bans. They include:

Water conservation tips

With no widespread drought relief in sight this week, here are a few tips to help conserve water.

  • Water your grass only as needed and when it’s cool. An inch per week is fine.

  • Consider faucet aerators and low-flow shower heads.

  • Fill the sink instead of running water to wash dishes and clean vegetables.

  • Turn off the water instead of letting it run, like when you brush your teeth.

  • Wait until you have a full load to run the dishwasher or washing machine.