I've been alive for almost 55 years; and in those years; I can't recall one single time that I have ever been concerned that the drought wouldn't come to an end. Just as you think things are getting bad; all of a sudden, we get rainfall and then it just keeps on raining. Not consistently; but enough where I never once uttered the words, “What if it doesn't?”

As I drive around St. Cloud, Sartell, Sauk Rapids, and other places through central Minnesota; I'm finding it truly disturbing the lack of water we have. Every morning I cross over the bridge from St. Cloud to Sauk Rapids to jump on Benton Drive; and when I glance in either direction, I see a lot of rocks and water seemingly getting lower and lower by the minute.

Photo by Kelly Cordes
Photo by Kelly Cordes
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We all go about our day, thinking “The rain will come.” But it hasn't. It's so dry that our cities are asking us to even drink less water, when our health coaches are telling us we need to drink half our weight in water every day. We are being told to limit the amount of times we wash our clothes, take showers; remember the basic things of conservation like shut the water off while you're brushing your teeth or shampooing your hair.

I visited a website called The Drought Impact Reporter, where people can report how the drought is affecting them in the areas of the country that they live.

Photo by Kelly Cordes
Photo by Kelly Cordes

When you look at the current data (at the time I looked at it the map had been released on July 15th of 2021,) there is not ONE spot of Minnesota that is not considered at the very least; abnormally dry. While we here in central Minnesota were in the Moderate Drought Level, just a few miles West, to North and Southern Minnesota, they are in the Severe Drought Level category.

One good thing I discovered was; it COULD be worse than what it is; so maybe it's not time to panic yet. There is a category D4 which is called Exceptional Drought, and none of our state is seeing that yet.

All I can say is; Maybe we should start being a little more thoughtful when it comes to our water use; because I know for me; I can't imagine the land of 10,00 lakes being the land of 10,000 mud puddles.


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