Tag Archives: White Bear Lake

Saving the planet 20,000 gallons at a time

Underwater rivers make up a vast freshwater resource for Minnesota. Called groundwater, these deep underwater rivers and aquifers supply over 95% of the world’s freshwater reserves, and over 69% of Minneapolis’ public water consumption (in the form of municipal and private wells). We tend to think of groundwater as a part of the water cycle, where rain, ice and melting snow “restock” the water supply. Under ideal water conditions, with sufficient rain/snowfall, this is true for the groundwater that hovers just below the surface. Deeper ancient stored groundwater, sometimes called fossil water or paleo water, is another matter entirely. Once those water stores are depleted, they are not renewable. More and more reports continue to emerge regarding the expanding usage and growing impact on groundwater reserves, even here in our state. Water scarcity, as seen by the recent droughts, and the lingering plummet in water levels at several of our area lakes, including White Bear Lake, make conserving groundwater something even we Minnesotans with our 10,000 lakes need to take to heart.

Where do we start? How can we, in the Twin Cities, be responsible with our water usage without it impacting our quality of life? Conserving water can take on many forms, from turning off the water while washing hands or brushing teeth, to taking a shower that is just a minute shorter than your personal “normal”. Even installing low-flow shower heads and toilets helps save gallons per use. However; the water savings from these well-intentioned measures are just a drop in the bucket compared to ensuring that your lawn’s sprinkler system is working properly. One broken sprinkler head can leak over 20,000 gallons of Minnesota groundwater during the season: that is practically a small pond! And if you have more than one damaged head: yikes! Can you imagine a city’s worth of leaky sprinkler systems and how much water that adds up to?

You can help prevent literally hundreds of thousands of gallons of water going to waste here in the Twin Cities. Conserva Irrigation offers a free 12-point sprinkler system inspection.  No matter who installed it or when, our trusted professionals will give your system a thorough check and make certain that it is running as efficiently as possible.  Stopping leaks not only helps conserve groundwater, it also puts money back in your pocket by reducing your water bill. The positive side effect of stopping leaks and using a more efficient watering system is that many of our happy customers have reduced their water bill by over 40%! To schedule your complimentary sprinkler system inspection in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul community, and do you part to saving the planet 20,000 gallons at a time, give us a call today at (763) 434-5414 or email at twincities@conservairrigation.com.

 

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Even the Land of 10,000 Lakes is Running Short of Water

An interesting article was published in the StarTribune on Sunday, February 24th, 2013 entitled “Minnesota Draining Its Supplies of Water”.  Here are the highlights:

  • Many regions in the state have reached the point where people are using water — and then sending it downstream — faster than the rain and snow can replenish it.
  • Last year, Minnesotans used a record amount of water.
  • Now state regulators, who have never said no to a water permit, for the first time are planning to experiment with more stringent rules that will require some local communities to allocate scarce water.
  • In Minnesota, how the rain falls and the snow melts is crucial because virtually all the state’s water comes from the sky.
  • .“We are not running out of water,” said Jim Stark, head of the Minnesota office of the U.S. Geological Survey. “But we are depleting it.” “We move it downstream, we don’t recycle it.”
  • The most visible example is White Bear Lake.  Since 1980, nearby communities have more than doubled the volume of water they pump from the Prairie du Chien aquifer they share with the lake, primarily because of higher residential demand. Now, the lake drops even during wet periods
  • Soon, the problem could spread beyond White Bear Lake. If the Twin Cities metro area grows by half a million people over the next two decades, at current rates of water use, whole sections of the Twin Cities’ aquifers will drop by half, even with normal rainfall, hydrologists say.
  •  In 2010, only 2 to 3 percent of the state’s cropland was irrigated, but that alone used 29 percent of water pumped out of Minnesota’s ground that year. But in 2012, the state received nearly 200 irrigation permit requests, with another 200 expected this year — two to three times the norm, DNR officials said.
  • DNR water officials say it’s time for local communities to start making decisions on water, rather than the state, because the current rates of use are not sustainable.
  • “If you fail to make a choice, then at some point the aquifer will do that for you,” said Jason Moeckel, a water manager for the DNR.
  • Author of the article:  Josephine Marcotty • 612-673-7394  marcotty@startribune.com

Conserva Irrigation educates commercial property managers, HOA boards, and residential homeowners about reducing their landscape water use and performs audits to expose inefficiencies in their systems.  Additionally, Conserva constructs a plan to retro-fit their system – both through the use of smart controllers with on-site weather stations and updating the inefficient in-ground components.  Many of Conserva Irrigation’s clients experience a 30 – 60% reduction of water usage.

Imagine how much more healthy the aquifer levels would be if the 46,000,000 residential and 18,000,000 commercial irrigation systems across the U.S. used 30 – 60% less water to irrigate the landscape.