Water conservation measures needed in Duluth, nearby areas

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources recently announced that the Western Lake Superior watershed has entered the Drought Warning response phase as described in the Minnesota Statewide Drought Plan. This includes Duluth, Hermantown, Proctor, and Rice Lake areas.

According to the MN DNR, water resources are particularly stressed during drought, and water conservation measures are especially important. The City of Duluth encourages residents and businesses to be mindful of their water use and practice use resources carefully during this drought period. This includes both inside and outside of your property.

RELATED: Drought worsens for much of the Northland

The City of Duluth, along with other public water suppliers in the state, is partnering with and will receive guidance from the MN DNR throughout the remainder of this drought period.

The following are conservation tips to help alleviate stress on the water supply during this Drought Warning response phase.

Outdoor Water Conservation Tips:

  • Water grass only as needed – Most lawns only need 1” of water a week.
  • Turn off any automatic watering controls. Only turn the water on when your lawn shows signs of excessive dryness.
  • Mulch 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 and prevent it from drying out as quickly.
  • Let lawns grow longer to prevent premature dying – let grass stay longer than normal.
  • Inspect for leaks – Leaks in hoses, pipes, couplings, or sprinklers are a significant source of wasted water.
  • Invest in a rain barrel – water collected in rain barrels can be used for watering flower gardens and, if needed, lawns.
  • Wash vehicles less frequently, and turn water off when not using the hose.

Indoor Water Conservation Tips:

  • Fix running and/or leaking toilets.
  • Turn off the tap while shaving or brushing your teeth.
  • Take showers instead of baths. Low-flow showerheads save more water.
  • Only run full loads of laundry and use correct water level settings on your machine.
  • Run the dishwasher only when it is full.
  • Use water-efficient appliances.

The City of Duluth thanks those that have already put forth water conservation efforts
before and during this drought period. The City of Duluth’s drinking water is sourced
from Lake Superior rather than groundwater. The City of Duluth also supplies water to
the cities of Hermantown, Proctor, and Rice Lake. Lake Superior is a large and reliable
drinking water source; however, water conservation is a vital element of drought
response plans. Water conservation helps preserve our natural resources and protect
against drought impacts.

For more information on water conservation, please visit the MN DNR website and ready.gov/drought.