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Reproduced from U.S. Drought Monitor; Map: Axios Visuals

Twin Cities residents are being urged to take new steps to conserve water as drought conditions worsen across the state.

Driving the news: Sprinkler restrictions take effect in Minneapolis today. Lawn watering is banned from noon to 6pm, and residents must follow an even-odd schedule outside those hours.

  • Saint Paul Regional Water Services is also asking customers across its east metro coverage area to begin following even-odd schedules and reduce use.

Why it matters: The severe drought conditions scorching more than half the state continue to stress our communities and natural resources.

What they're saying: A Kimball farmer told KARE11 he expects his hay yield to fall 75% this year. His corn crop is barely salvageable.

  • "When it gets dry like this, just emotionally it's very tough. All you have to do is look at the corn field. When it looks more like pineapples than it does corn, you know it's devastating," Don Schiefelbein told the station.

What to watch: Most local meteorologists say we need several inches of rain to turn things around. But forecasts are showing two more hot weeks ahead.

  • With temperatures in the 90s and no significant storms on the radar, things could get worse before they get better.

The bottom line: Crops are suffering. Lawns are yellowing. Rivers and lakes are dipping to near-record lows.

  • We're in the thick of a hot, dry summer and Minnesota is parched.
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Go deeper

Heat dome sends temperatures soaring from Oregon to Louisiana

Forecast maximum temperatures (darker red shading represents the hottest temperatures, in the upper 90s to low 100s, Fahrenheit). July 29. Image: WeatherBell

The Pacific Northwest is once again in the midst of a heat wave after already seeing its worst such event on record this summer. Temperatures are soaring into the low 100s in some areas, while dangerous heat is also affecting the South Central states and Gulf Coast.

Why it matters: The occurrence of yet another heat wave during a drought in the West is ratcheting up wildfire risks. The heat itself is a major public health risk, as extreme heat is typically the biggest annual weather-related cause of mortality in the U.S.

Manhattan, Westchester prosecutors request evidence from Cuomo investigation

Gov. Cuomo during a press conference in New York City on Aug. 2. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

The district attorneys for Manhattan and Westchester County on Wednesday requested evidence related to New York Attorney General Letitia James' investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), according to a letter obtained by NBC News.

Why it matters: The district attorneys are investigating if alleged conduct highlighted in an independent report published by James' office that occurred in their jurisdictions was criminal in nature.

Scoop: Buzzy media startup Puck launches in beta

Puck.news

Puck, a splashy new digital media company, is coming out of stealth mode, Axios has learned. The company debuted its landing page, puck.news, on Wednesday, and will officially launch its website in September.

Why it matters: The company has been quietly building a roster of top talent, but hadn't confirmed its branding or exact business plans up until now.