Seattle Public Utilities wants customers to voluntarily conserve water

Sep 21, 2023, 11:43 AM | Updated: 11:52 am

seattle water...

Seattle depends on mountain reservoirs for its water. (Photo: Getty Images)

(Photo: Getty Images)

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) claimed we are in a bit of a water crisis and wants residents to conserve.

It’s been a dry summer and coupled with a potential delay in late fall rains, SPU wants to make sure we have enough water for both humans and fish.

“Everyone can help by doing things such as taking shorter or fewer showers, stopping lawn watering, washing only full loads of laundry and dishes, and fixing water leaks, especially running toilets,” said Anna Dyer, SPU water conservation manager, on the utility’s website.

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Every day, SPU calculates how many millions of gallons of water the region, as a whole, used that day. Then, every Monday, the utility provides an average daily water consumption number based on the last seven days.

The good news is that Seattle water customers have a history of responding to conservation requests. Over the last 40 years, the regional water system has grown from serving 1 to 1.5 million customers but, despite this population growth, the city uses the same amount of water we did in the 1950s.

“Our customers do a great job using water wisely every day,” said Dyer. “We’re just asking them to do a little more right now until our water supply improves.”

As of Monday, September 18, the region is averaging about 149 million gallons per day (mgd) of water use. This includes water consumed by Seattle residents and businesses, plus consumption amounts for customers who receive Seattle Water through other cities and water districts in King County.

“Despite the warm spring and dry summer, I’m glad we were able to manage the system in a way that allowed our customers to enjoy using water this summer,” said Elizabeth Garcia, water resources planner at SPU. “But with the continued dry weather forecasted this fall, we must take action now to stretch the region’s water supply.”

More on WA’s drinking water: Toxic ‘forever chemicals’ discovered in drinking water all over Washington

SPU said the goal is to drop the average water consumption for the region to 100 mgd and to keep it at or below that level until we get enough rain to refill the mountain reservoirs sufficiently.

“If we work together to reduce water use in our homes, businesses, and outside, we can meet this goal,” Dyer said.

The City of Bothell also gets its water from SPU.

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Seattle Public Utilities wants customers to voluntarily conserve water