Water ban in place in response to widespread drought

In response to the state’s drought management plan, the City of Bemidji passed a resolution further restricting water use.

City Engineer Craig Gray said the odd/even sprinkling ban, in effect since early June, was not as effective at reducing water use as he hoped.

Commercial irrigation is the largest use of the city’s water supply, and Gray said about one million gallons of water a day city-wide are used on lawns.

The DNR’s goal for cities like Bemidji is to reduce water usage to 150 percent of the January use.

For Bemidji, that is 1.7 million gallons per day, about 400,000-600,000 gallons fewer than what was used in June.

The ban restricts non-essential use of water, for things like lawn watering, recreational uses such as filling pools, car-washing, and power washing.

Hand-watering of flower pots and vegetable gardens will still be allowed.

Gray emphasized the measure is not for the sake of the city’s systems, but for the aquifer itself.

Failure to abide by these water restrictions could lead to an administrative citation.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University. You can follow along with Larissa's live tweets of meetings and events on Twitter!

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