Iowa officials say water cutbacks could be a reality if the drought reaches into the spring and summer of 2013.
The University of Nebraska's drought map shows all of Iowa is still in moderate to exceptional drought conditions. The worst of it is in Northwest Iowa.
That's got the Iowa DNR worried about water supplies this summer. State Hydrology Coordinator Tim Hall told a legislative panel Thursday if things don't get better, mandatory conservation could be a reality.
Hall says the state has the power to issue a cut for everyone. But says it might be better left to local communities because water situations vary greatly from place to place.
He says communities that get water from shallow aquifers are most at risk for cutbacks.
"When that water starts to run short, then about the only thing you can do is look at the demand side of the equation and ask people to reduce how much water they need," said Hall.
Hall says water levels going into summer of 2013 are down compared to this time a year ago. He says March, April, and May are Iowa's wet months, and the best chance to catch up.
"It's going to take some normal to above normal rain during wet months on a consistent basis for us to see some widespread recovery," said Hall.
Hall says shallow aquifers are typically the first to hurt in a drought. But they're also the first to benefit from rain.
If you want to check out the drought map, click here.
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