With the entire state suffering through a severe drought this summer, local cities are asking their residents to do what they can to conserve water use.

Orono, Long Lake, Minnetonka Beach and Maple Plain have decided to go the voluntary route and have not instituted a local watering ban yet, they are asking people to help and do their part. (Excelsior and Shorewood do have water bans in place with odd/even watering day and time of day watering requirements with some exemptions.)

According to Minnetonka Beach city officials, Minnetonka Beach’s water treatment plant has adequate capacity, but that they are seeing higher-than-average water usage. During summer months, water usage is about 150,000 gallons per day (GPD) in Minnetonka Beach. Recently, they have seen fluctuations from nearly 50 to 75 percent of additional usage above normal usage, or an average 170,000 o 190,000 GPD with usage reaching over 250,000 gallons on the days of highest usage. Water usage in the second quarter was up 1.5 million gallons over last year.

At its latest city council meeting, Minnetonka Beach passed a motion asking residents voluntarily limit use of water and that the city provide communication on smart water practices. to its residents.

While the city of Orono passed on putting on a watering ban at a recent city council meeting they did ask residents to voluntarily restrict their water use. The city has restricted its own water use as they are only watering at the golf course and city parks three times a week instead of every day.

“We’ve pro actively reduced our irrigation both at the golf course and Bederwood field as well at city hall,” Orono city administrator Adam Edwards said at a recent council meeting. “The golf course dropped from everyday watering schedule to three times a week.”

Maple Plain, and Long Lake have both posted information on how to conserve water this summer.

Some of the recommendations from cities and the Minnesota DNR are: water every other day, set irrigation to run five or more minutes less, no watering between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., run appliances when full and take shorter showers.

For more information on how to conserve water go to the Minnesota DNR web site at https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/waters/watermgmt_section/appropriations/conservation.html

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