Minnesota is one of many western and midwestern states suffering the effects of a decades-long drought. However, now, with water stores nearing low to empty, the state’s Department of Natural Resources has begun urging residents to conserve water.
DNR Climatologist Luigi Romolo addressed Minnesota residents in a desperate plea about the drought.
“Whether it’s the height of the summer, or dead of winter, we can have drought conditions here in Minnesota,” Romolo said. “Everybody thinks that water availability here in Minnesota is a bottomless pit, but we soon realize that it’s not the case when we are faced [with] these conditions.”
CBS News reports that parts of Minnesota are so drought-stricken that the southern region of the state needs to see 11 to 15 inches of precipitation before the year ends.
In light of these conditions, the state has asked residents to strive to conserve water. Romolo emphasized that “Every drop we can conserve now is a drop that can be used later on.”
The outlet further provided suggestions on how state residents can better conserve water. And the solutions are relatively simple. Some examples of conservation methods include turning the water off while shaving or brushing your teeth, taking shorter showers, and running big loads of laundry rather than small ones.
Still, climatologists like Romolo are hoping Minnesota sees substantial enough winter weather to help combat drought conditions. He believes that if the state get “a healthy snow pact and can retain that snow pact, we could actually recover from the situation.”
NOAA States Drought Conditions Will Endure Through the Winter
When we think of devastating droughts, we tend to think of hot summer months fueling dangerous wildfires. However, that’s just the beginning. Given the severity of the drought plaguing states like Minnesota, Kansas, and Nebraska to name a few, experts with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) believe things won’t get any easier through the winter.
The NOAA released its outlook for the winter last week, and it has little hope for Midwestern farmers already struggling to maintain their crops. Per the report, La Niña will make its third annual return in a row. This means the infamous weather phenomenon will again bring warmer-than-normal temperatures to the southwest, Gulf Coast, and eastern seaboard.
They’re also predicting a dryer-than-normal winter across the south and a wetter-than-normal in multiple regions. These include in the Ohio Valley, Great Lakes area, northern Rockies, and Pacific Northwest.
Altogether, the NOAA states 59% of the United States is experiencing drought conditions, with the Western U.S. and southern Great Plains enduring the worst conditions. This is significant as not only has the drought had a severe effect already on the nation’s “breadbasket,” but it’s also been detrimental to California’s tomato crop, which makes up 95% of the processed tomato products consumed here in the states.