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Region’s customers asked to voluntarily reduce water use by 10 percent


Everett, Seattle, Tacoma move to “Voluntary Stage” of water shortage plans 

Puget Sound Region (Aug. 11, 2015) After unusually hot weather, the region’s all-time driest May-July and in preparation of a potentially drier-than-normal fall, Everett, Seattle and Tacoma have moved to the second stage of their water shortage response plans — voluntary reduction.

The voluntary stage has been enacted because the potential for a water supply shortage continues to increase.

The three cities are working together to manage water supplies for people and fish during the drought and higher-than-normal water use. They are asking customers for their help by voluntarily reducing their water use by 10 percent starting today.

“Seattle customers know it is important to manage their water use during these dry conditions,” said Seatte Mayor Ed Murray. “Today we are asking residents and businesses to continue to reduce water use both indoors and outdoors.”

People who want to find out how well the region is meeting the 10 percent goal can visit The three cities plan to publish the first update the week of Aug. 24.

“We are confident our customers will be able to reduce their water use by 10 percent,” said Everett’s Mayor, Ray Stephanson. “We are asking for this reduction to ensure that we have enough water for both people and fish.”

Ways people can reduce their water use:

  • Let your lawn go dormant and limit plant watering to twice a week – Doing this at home and at businesses can make a big difference.
  • Water plants before 8 a.m. or after 7 p.m. If you are watering, do it during this timeframe to reduce the impact of evaporation.
  • Reduce your showering time at home, work and the gym
  • Check for and fix leaks now, including checking your toilets for silent leaks
  • Wash only full loads of laundry and dishes
  • Find more water saving tips at

“We are counting on all Tacoma Water customers to be very conscious of their water use,” said Public Utility Board Chair Bryan Flint. “By letting their lawns go dormant, people can make a significant impact.”

“It’s been an unprecedented year for low stream flows and fish; both young and old are being stranded across the state,” said Bob Everitt, Region 4 director, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. “We would greatly appreciate any reductions in water usage that would save water for more instream flow.”

All three cities are making operational changes and activating supplementary water supplies – all in an effort to stretch their water supplies as far as possible.

If conditions worsen, each city will decide if it will move to the “mandatory” phase of water shortage response and require customers to further reduce the amount of water they normally use each day.

More Information

About Everett:
Everett operates a regional water supply system that serves 80 percent of the homes and businesses in Snohomish County. This includes Everett and 95 other cities and water districts and serves a population of about 570,000. Get Everett water supply information.

About Seattle:
Seattle operates a regional water supply system serving 1.3 million people, including residents of Seattle as well as 25 other cities and water districts in King County. Get Seattle water supply information.

About Tacoma:
Tacoma Water supplies water directly to about 316,000 people in Tacoma, University Place, Ruston and areas of unincorporated Pierce and south King counties. The utility also serves relatively small areas within the cities of Puyallup, Fircrest, Lakewood and Bonney Lake.  Through wholesale connections, Tacoma Water serves Auburn, Bonney Lake, Fife, Puyallup and parts of Pierce and King counties. Get Tacoma water supply information.