ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -

Rural Minnesota residents and state regulators are facing challenges in keeping up with demand for water. They're dealing with a prolonged drought, a thirst for job-creating growth and the prospect that current water practices in some areas are unsustainable.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports the situation is especially stark the farther south and west one travels in the state.

And it could preview changes for the Twin Cities metro area, from water rationing to taxpayer-funded efforts to secure additional water.

While the drought isn't the only reason Minnesota's water woes are spreading, experts agree it's shining a spotlight on them.

Groundwater now accounts for 75 percent of Minnesotans' drinking water, and its use is increasing.