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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published December 06 2012

Weather Talk: If drought of 2012 continues, water supply to be concern

Despite a few autumn snowfalls and timely rains, the drought is still on. For the first 11 months of this year, precipitation in Fargo-Moorhead was just 14.15 inches, which is the 10th driest such period since 1881.

Fall precipitation has been enough to create muddy yards, but that has a lot to do with the near absence of evaporation this time of year. Because water usage is low during the cold months, and because of stored water reserves in upstream reservoirs left over from recent wet years, there are no water use concerns for now.

And who knows? The weather could turn excessively snowy at some point this winter and the warm season of 2013 might well be rainy. But if the drought of 2012 continues well into the summer, our water needs will begin to exceed the supply, and for the first time in two decades, it is possible there could be water restrictions in some parts of our region.


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