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October 2015
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CityLink Seattle

Reducing water in the fall is harder, but we’re still meeting our goal

Puget Sound Region (Oct. 21, 2015) It’s getting more challenging to reduce water use, but people in Everett, Seattle and Tacoma are still meeting the region’s goal of cutting back by 10 percent.

Typically, reducing lawn watering is the most effective way to cut back on water. But now that we’ve had cooler, wetter weather, lawns are rebounding on their own, and we need to find other ways to reduce water consumption (see tips below).

Customers are still making great strides, and we thank them for their efforts. In the last 10 weeks, customers in the region have reduced their water use by 12 percent. That’s down from previous reports showing 14 percent reductions, indicating that it’s getting more difficult for customers to reduce water use.

Until the fall rains hit, the cities are still looking for a 10 percent reduction in water use to be able to fill their reservoirs to provide enough water for people and fish.

Here are some steps that customers can take to reduce water use as the weather continues to cool. More water-saving tips and a graph illustrating the savings can be found at www.savingwater.org.

Indoor water-saving tips for residents:

  • Reduce showering time
  • Check for and fix leaks
  • Wash only full loads of laundry and dishes
  • Turn off the tap while brushing teeth or shaving
  • Don’t pre-rinse dishes
  • If purchasing fixtures/equipment, choose water-efficient models

Indoor water-saving tips for businesses:

  • Encourage reduced showering times at your facilities
  • Serve water only on request
  • Check for and fix leaks
  • Wash only full loads of laundry and dishes
  • Provide new towels only on request
  • Check cooling towers for overflow and excessive blowdown
  • If purchasing fixtures/equipment, choose water-efficient models

City-Specific Reports

Seattle: Despite the recent rain, Seattle Public Utilities’ (SPU’s) reservoir levels are trending down. The total water level in SPU’s reservoirs is at 71 percent of what would be typical for this time of year. This represents a drop from two weeks ago when SPU’s reservoirs were at 74 percent of normal.

In addition to assuring drinking water for people, SPU continues to provide beneficial flows for salmon, steelhead and trout to supplement lower-than-normal natural conditions in the Cedar and South Fork Tolt rivers, the water sources for Seattle’s regional water system. Chinook and sockeye salmon are spawning in the Cedar, and adult chinook salmon are spawning in the Tolt River. Juvenile steelhead and coho continue to rear in both rivers.

Everett: Everett continues to provide fish flows for chinook salmon and fall steelhead on the Sultan River, which is the water source for Everett’s regional water system. The Sultan River watershed received more than 5 inches of rain in the last two weeks. This brings the precipitation in the Sultan watershed to 75 percent of normal for this time of year and storage at Spada Reservoir is now at 75 percent of normal for this time of year.

 

Tacoma: So far in October, about 4 inches of rain have fallen in the Green River Watershed. Tacoma Water has stopped relying on wells for its water supply and is back to taking water solely from the Green River. However, Tacoma still needs to stretch water supplies in order to have enough for people and fish until the fall rains come.

 

Unless conditions change significantly, the next round of regional water-use reduction results will be released in mid-November.

More Information

Water Supply Update
Current water supply graphs (pdf)
SavingWater.org