Mayor, Council President Ask Citizens To Take Steps To Reduce Water Usage

Kirstin Davis, Communications Manager, 509.625.7773

Thursday, May 27, 2021 at 2:50 p.m.

With the Washington state Department of Ecology issuing a drought advisory for much of the state including the Spokane area, Mayor Nadine Woodward and Council President Breean Beggs are asking citizens to join them in efforts to conserve water this summer.

“As a community, we need to use water wisely, especially during current conditions,” says Mayor Woodward. “We are asking citizens to use strategies that allow them to maintain their lawns and landscaping, while using less water and keeping their summer watering bills more affordable.”

“Summertime irrigation drives water use in our City every year. We need to make changes now to help our river and our aquifer this year and into the future,” says Council President Beggs.

Even before the state’s drought advisory was released, the Mayor and Council had been working to promote water-saving measures. They have been working on a public education ideas that encourage citizens and businesses to voluntarily adopt an every other day, “odd/even” watering schedule to help protect water resources, maintain affordable water rates, support landscaping health, and reduce the need for costly water system expansions over time. It also reduces the overall demand for water on a daily basis.

The City’s Parks Department has volunteered to serve as an example this summer of how an odd/even watering schedule can be accomplished, while still creating beautiful spaces.

Making choices that reduce water use will help Spokane residents with their monthly bills. Last fall, the City approved changes to the rates it charges for water use, rewarding customers for lower water use and encouraging customers to limit their use to about 18,700 gallons a month.

The City created a new water calculator to let customers know how the changes would impact them. Each customer can enter their City utility account number and address. The calculator will provide a look at each customer’s own historical use and calculate the difference the customer would pay under the new rates. Customers can keep their bills more affordable by reducing their water usage.

Here are some other water-saving best practices that businesses and residents can take:

  • Water your landscaping between 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. Some experts estimate that 50 percent of the water evaporates when sprinkling in the heat of the day. Morning watering is considered best as the water doesn’t sit on the roots overnight, which can cause problems with root rot or fungal disease. And, limit the amount time you spend watering each section of landscaping to no more than 15 minutes or two hours for your total area.
  • Don’t let your hose run.  Avoid washing off your driveway or other hard surfaces and limit washing your car. Running a 5/8-inch hose for 30 minutes wastes up to 150 gallons of water.
  • Don’t water on windy days, and turn your sprinklers off when it rains. 

Residents also can get on a path to saving water outdoors by taking advantage of rebates and credits offered by the City for smart irrigation controllers, efficient nozzles, and the SpokaneScape turf replacement program. Here is information on these programs.

Protecting and preserving our water resources is a long-term goal of the City.  The City’s Water Department must meet water conservation goals as part of state and federal requirements.

For more water tips and information, go to