Conservation efforts and rainfall prevent more restrictive watering restrictions from taking effect

August 25, 2021

Water conservation measures and recent rains are keeping Minneapolis from implementing more restrictive limits to outdoor water uses in response to this summer’s drought. However, due to water flow in the Mississippi River being well below normal rates, odd-even sprinkling restrictions implemented July 21 will stay in effect until further notice.

The city remains in an extreme drought phase as defined by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Drought Action Plan, although the Mississippi River flow did recently move above 1,500 cubic feet per second. If the river drops below that flow rate for five consecutive days, Minneapolis would enter a restrictive phase requiring additional restrictions.

The Mississippi River has reliably provided the City of Minneapolis with drinking water for over 150 years. The City assures the public of its continued ability to produce sufficient quantities of high-quality water for its residents and wholesale customers.

Sprinkling restrictions

  • Sprinkling lawns is NOT allowed from noon to 6 p.m. on any day.  
  • On calendar days that are even numbers (examples: Aug. 26 or Sept. 18), the even side of the street CAN sprinkle lawns outside of the noon to 6 p.m. time window. Examples: 1238 Oak St. or 2574 Cedar Ave.
  • On calendar days that are odd numbers (examples Aug. 27 or Sept. 19), the odd side of the street CAN sprinkle lawns. Examples: 1247 Maple St. or 2561 18th Ave.

Enforcement of these restrictions is in place. After one written warning, subsequent failures to comply with these restrictions will incur a $25 penalty added to the property’s utility bill.


  • Bushes and flowers may be watered with a hand-held hose as needed.
  • Vegetable gardens and new sod (first two weeks from placement) may be watered on any day but not during the prohibited afternoon hours of noon to 6 p.m.
  • Trees may be watered with a dripping hose, bucket or tree watering bag as needed.

Water conservation tips

  • A heavy rain eliminates the need for watering for up to two weeks. Lawns only need an inch of water per week for most of the year.
  • Check your sprinkler system frequently and adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not your house, the sidewalk or street.
  • Avoid leaving sprinklers or hoses unattended. A garden hose can pour out 600 gallons or more in only a few hours.

Learn more about the City’s Water Treatment & Distribution Services.