Watering restrictions

mn state drought map
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has moved Shorewood and the Mississippi Headwater watershed into a drought warning response phase due to prolonged dry weather. Droughts have a negative effect on ground water supplies and lake and stream levels.

During the drought warning phase, the Minnesota Statewide Drought Plan specifies that public water suppliers implement water use reduction actions with a goal of reducing water use to 50% above January levels. In Shorewood, we average approximately 235,000 gallons per day in January and in excess of 1.0 million gallons of water per day in the summer. Much of the increase in water is due to lawn and landscaping irrigation. 

Effective immediately, the City of Shorewood has expanded the regular water conservation measures to the following:  

  • Residents are allowed to irrigate on odd or even days. Even address can only water on even-numbered days, odd addresses can only water on odd-numbered days. 
  • Residents are allowed to irrigate before 10:00 am and after 5:00 pm.

Fees for violating the Water Use Restrictions are determined by the number of water restriction violations issued to the owner and are as follows:

  • First offense - $50 fee
  • Each additional offense - $25 fee increase (e.g. 2nd violation $75, 3rd violation $100, etc.)

Water Use Restrictions are enforced from May 1st to September 30th and violators will be fined. No warnings are given for violation of the watering restrictions.

EXEMPTIONS - While residents with private wells and lake irrigation systems are exempt from the DNR’s order, the city is hoping that all Shorewood residents join in conserving water during the drought and strongly encourage all residents to follow the City’s water conservation measures. 

Tips for conserving water during a drought (these may help you save on your water bill, too!):  

  • Detect and repair all leaks in irrigation systems. Set sprinklers to water the lawn or garden only – not the street or sidewalk. 
  • Don’t overwater your lawn. A heavy rain eliminates the need for watering for up to two weeks. Most grass needs only one inch of water weekly. 
  • Raise your lawn mower cutting height – longer grass blades help shade each other, cut down on evaporation, and inhibit weed growth. 
  • Do not install or use ornamental water features during a drought. 
  • Check the soil moisture levels with a soil probe, spade or large screwdriver. You don't need to water if the soil is still moist. If your grass springs back when you step on it, it doesn't need water yet.
  • Water in several short sessions rather than one long one, in order for your lawn to better absorb moisture and avoid runoff.
  • Use a broom or blower instead of a hose to clean leaves and other debris from your driveway or sidewalk.
  • In extreme drought, allow lawns to die in favor of preserving trees and large shrubs. 
Additional Links & Resources

MN DNR Water Conservation Webpage

MN Statewide Drought Plan

GovDelivery - sign up to receive updates about drought in Minnesota, drought preparation and response, and important ways to conserve water

UMN-Water Saving Strategies for Home Lawns