BRAINERD, Minn. — Three Minnesota cities have begun using a process called aquifer storage and recovery to store water underground, according to an article by the Brainerd Dispatch.

The cities are pumping water from the jointly run treatment plant and injecting it into the ground at a rate of 300 gallons per minute until they reach 100 million gallons of treated drinking water in an aquifer beneath the cities, the article reported.

The process of aquifer storage and recovery involves capturing water during times of plenty, storing it underground and pulling it out later when it's needed , noted the article.

"This is the first year where the project has been fully up and running," said Kelly Daleiden, project manager for Veolia Water, which operates the well and other joint water efforts for the three cities. "It's interesting, the water comes out just like it went in for the most part."

This practice is used often in the Western and Southeastern U.S., continued the article, although this is the first in the state of Minnesota. 

According to the article, the water will be pumped out of the aquifer this summer, when residents want it for lawn watering and drinking, avoiding an increased strain on the water treatment plant in those months. 

Read the full article here.