Are Severe Water Restrictions Coming To Parched Bismarck Mandan?
I can only remember a couple of times in my life where I lived in a place with water restrictions. Back when I was a young boy in Grand Forks in the 80s' and when I lived in California in the 90s' for a couple of years. Having to water your lawn on odd days, limiting your water usage at home (washing machines) and even drinking water.
North Dakota is entering unprecedented times. Some say the state has never been dryer. The wheat crop is all but a lost cause. The string of near or 100 degree days just seems to go on and on. We could take a run at the all time record today, which is 103 degrees going all the way back to the early 1900s'. YIKES. Temps near 100 look like the norm well into next week. When will this drought ever end? Precipitation looks very unlikely for the rest of July. Here's the latest drought monitor map for North Dakota.
I guess the only good news is that much of southwest North Dakota has improved from Extreme drought to Severe drought. Most of northern Burleigh county has also moved out of the Exceptional drought category. However, the rest of Burleigh county is still in the Extreme drought category.
Some cities in North Dakota have begun water restrictions. Could this be coming to Bismarck Mandan? I sat down with the Mayor of Bismarck, Steve Bakken, and his answer was a resounding "no!" Thanks to the Missouri River we have plenty of capacity. Mayor Bakken went on to say, "As far as production, we do not have a risk for running out of water." The city has had some storage capacity issues in previous dry years, that caused northwest Bismarck to have low water pressure. That would likely be the extent of it. "If you want to pay the money to water your lawn, that's a personal choice", said Mayor Bakken.
You might break the bank keeping your lawn green, but in Bismarck anyway, you'll be free to do it.
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