Take into consideration the hot and windy weather conditions we have experienced the last three weeks in South Dakota and you will see why many places around the state are becoming concerned about drought. Topsoil moisture is being sucked out a quickening pace. And East River counties are holding up better than West River.

SD Public Safety/US Drought Monitor
SD Public Safety/US Drought Monitor

Released this week from the U.S. Drought Monitor are conditions that have affected topsoil moisture in grain and pasture growth, row crops, fire index, wildlife populations, and livestock sales. And for the non-farming community, it has an impact on city aquifers when people are watering their lawns and gardens more often.

The counties in western South Dakota that have reached a moderate drought stage include Lawrence, Meade, Pennington, Custer, Fall River and Oglala. Union County, a small portion of Clay, Grant, and Roberts County in east river are also included.

Here in the immediate Sioux Falls area, the drought level has reached abnormally dry in parts of Minnehaha, Turner, McCook, and Yankton counties.

I contacted the City of Sioux Falls Water Division to verify any watering restrictions and was told there are currently none in place. However, they pointed out that if you are a property owner you must follow city lawn watering guidelines:

  • Only water every other day
  • Use the odd/even rotation depending on the last digit of your home address
  • No watering between the hours of 12:00 PM and 5:00 PM
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