Leave the grass clippings on the grass. Let the blades of grass grow a little higher. Wait for new plantings. Take shorter showers. And don’t run the dishwasher until it’s full. Instead, fill the sink and wash most plates by hand without the faucet.
In response to widespread drought conditions, St. Paul’s Regional Water Services are asking residents to voluntarily adopt some obvious and lesser-known water conservation measures, ranging from watering lawns and gardens to the odd or even days of the month, according to your home address, to turn off the water while you brush your teeth.
Regional water utilities manager Patrick Shea said in a statement he did not anticipate any service issues, but the water utility that serves St. Paul, a dozen suburbs, and the University of Minnesota does take no risk. He is closely monitoring the water conditions throughout the eastern metro, and they are far from good.
On July 16, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced that Minnesota had entered a “drought alert phase,” with 52% of the state experiencing severe drought. The rest of the nation doesn’t look much better, and parts of the country look worse.
“I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone that we are facing drought conditions,” said Chris Tolbert, St. Paul City Council member, who sits on the Board of Water Commissioners. of public service. “We’re just asking people to be part of the solution for one of our most important natural resources. I can count on one hand how many times it has rained. This is not the year for your lawn to look like the PGA Tour.
Although water conservation measures are encouraged for now, they could become mandatory if drought conditions worsen and use remains the same. This raises the possibility of enforcement actions for violators, such as financial penalties.
“We hope that if all customers do their part to conserve water, we will see an overall decrease in demand,” read a written statement from the utility. “If drought conditions persist and demand does not sufficiently reduce demand, additional measures may be needed as early as next week. At this point, there may be additional requirements and execution of current requests, including the potential for fines. “
Saint-Paul and its suburban neighbors are not alone. What could be the country’s worst known heat wave has ravaged the Pacific Northwest and western Canada, and cities in the Northeast and Midwest are also experiencing record temperatures.
In Oregon, where at least 80 percent of the state faces severe drought conditions or worse, 19 counties had declared drought-related emergencies in early July. Governor Kate Brown issued an executive order on July 7 requiring state agencies to implement water conservation measures, including stopping non-essential water use, and cities have started rolling out their own curatorial mandates, according to the Salem Statesman Journal.
In some municipalities, water conservation has been a part of everyday life for years. Dallas, Texas has imposed outdoor watering restrictions since 2012, including limiting hose sprinklers and automatic irrigation systems to no more than twice a week.
Mara Humphrey, chair of the St. Paul Regional Water Services Board of Water Commissioners, said the utility is working closely with the state’s natural resources department on developing conservation approaches.
HOW TO HELP STORE WATER
Since Tuesday, the Saint-Paul Regional Water Supply Services have asked taxpayers to voluntarily adopt the following conservation measures:
- Customers with odd addresses are asked to limit outdoor watering, vehicle washing, and back pool use to odd days of the month, and customers with even addresses are asked to stick to even days .
- Guests are urged to limit outdoor watering to the cooler hours of the day, typically before noon or after 6 p.m., to minimize evaporation. Exceptions include commercial uses, nurseries and community gardens, or watering new clods or seeds. Residents are urged to suspend new planting until fall or until drought conditions abate.
- Water the grass only when needed. Most lawns don’t need more than an inch of water per week.
- Set your lawn mower to 1.5-2 inches. The taller grass protects the roots and retains moisture.
- Leave grass clippings where they land. They will help cool the soil and retain moisture.
- Take shorter showers by using low-flow shower heads instead of baths.
- Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth or shaving.
- Fill the sink to do the dishes by hand instead of running the water. Run dishwashers when fully loaded.