USGS Data Determines Required Drought Action

USGS Data Determines Required Drought Action
Posted on 08/17/2021

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) monitors and provides data about a number of natural resources including water. Real-time water data is collected at more than 13,500 stations nationwide and provides a detailed look at streamflow, groundwater, water quality, water use and availability – all critical for the effective management of water resources.

The Drought Warning Phase, which the Joint Water Commission cities entered in mid-July, goes into effect when the USGS measuring station in the north metro measures the average Mississippi River flow at or below 2,000 cubic feet per second for five consecutive days. When the measured average flow decreases, more restrictive phases are entered:

  • Extreme Drought Restrictive Phase: At or below 1,500 cubic feet per second for five consecutive days.
  • Emergency Phases: At or below 1,000 cubic feet per second for five consecutive days.

See the USGS gauge readings at waterdata.usgs.gov/mn/nwis/rt.

As additional phases are necessary, the cities will implement steps to reduce demand on the water supply based upon the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Drought Action Plan. These details will be communicated via the city website, social media and more.