City Council Approves Drought Response Measures Ordinance

Lisa Gardner, City Council Communications Director, 509.625.6226

Tuesday, May 24, 2022 at 8:20 a.m.

During Monday’s City Council Legislative Session, Council voted 5-2 on a water conservation and drought response ordinance that codifies citywide water conservation strategies and goals.  

Councilmember Lori Kinnear states, “Ultimately, this ordinance requires residents to irrigate their lawns less often and outside of peak heat hours, providing cost savings to ratepayers, while simultaneously being good stewards of our Spokane River. This ordinance does not include penalties. We are reimagining how we change our watering habits to decrease household, industrial, and commercial usage.”

“Tonight, we are protecting the Spokane River for the next generation while saving ratepayer dollars on future infrastructure needs,” added Council President Breean Beggs. 

According to the ordinance, the City of Spokane shall implement a prohibition on watering outdoor vegetation from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. between June 1 – October 1 and limit watering outdoor vegetation on each parcel for four days per week. Exceptions are allowed for new landscapes, vegetable gardens, to maintain tree health, and to mitigate wildfire risk. Any upcoming changes in incentives, rates or surcharges will not be scheduled to begin until after December 1, 2023, after robust public outreach to the highest water users in the community occurs.