Even with 32 inches of precipitation a year in southern Minnesota, our water supply is dropping. 

In our state, water may seem like an abundant resource, but the Department of Natural Resources wants the public to know that it is important to use water wisely.

Observation wells are used to monitor the groundwater situation.

Brian Nyborg, a hydrologist with the Department of Natural Resources, said:  "This particular well has been monitored since the mid '80s and since the mid '90s it has shown a steady decline.  So that's based on increased use within its area not only here but in other parts of southern Minnesota."

That's why the state came up with the Minnesota Permitting and Reporting System.  Anyone using over 10,000 gallons a day or 1,000,000 gallons a year must get a water usage permit.  In Martin County, certain types of zoning require proof of the water permit.

Wendy Chirpich, Martin County's Zoning Technician, said :  "It's always been something that's required it's something that is important to be followed through on to make sure that our water quality is still staying where it needs to be for everyone as a whole."

DNR wants to remind people to be mindful of their water use.

"What's important is for each of us as individuals to take stake in that and do what we can to conserve." Nyborg also mentioned.

The DNR is holding a public meeting on the water permit process.  It is on March 15th at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Fairmont, from 9am to noon.