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Minneapolis residents could face water restrictions if severe drought continues

The city is asking people and businesses to be mindful of their water use in the meantime.

The City of Minneapolis is warning residents that water restrictions could be put in place if the severe drought gripping the state continues to worsen.

The city, though it is not taking any action at this point, said Friday afternoon people and businesses should "use water wisely" amid this extremely dry stretch. The door was kept open for the city to implement water restrictions down the line.

"If the drought gets worse and flows in the river reach the drought warning stage, the City will implement measures to reduce water consumption, including odd/even sprinkling restrictions," the city wrote.

Related: Drought update: Bad news for Minnesota as another heat wave looms

More than half of the state is experiencing "severe" drought, though much of Hennepin County — including Minneapolis — is in the not-quite-as-bad "moderate" drought stage.

Still, there is no near-term end in sight to the withering conditions. No widespread rainfall is expected into next week, and temperatures will climb into the upper-80s and low-90s.

The City of Minneapolis, which pulls an estimated 21 billion gallons of water from the Mississippi River annually, provided a list of water conservation people should keep in mind:

  1. Water the lawn when it's coolest, to avoid evaporation
  2. Only water a lawn when it needs it — they typically only need 1 inch every week
  3. Use low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators
  4. Avoid baths — and take shorter showers
  5. Don't let the water run while shaving or brushing your teeth
  6. Don't rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, and run the dishwasher only when full
  7. If washing dishes by hand, fill the sink with water rather than letting the faucet run
  8. Clean vegetables the same way, using a large pan
  9. When doing laundry, only wash full loads

A number of communities around the Twin Cities have enacted various water restrictions in recent months, including Minnetrista, Eden Prairie, Edina, Carver, Dayton, Plymouth, Lino Lakes, Woodbury and more.

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