Kristen Zimmer

Check out the Water Conservation Master Plan

Kristen Zimmer, Conservation Coordinator, 509.625.6573

Friday, May 1, 2020 at 5:01 p.m.

Check out the Water Conservation Master Plan

The availability of clean drinking water is one of Spokane’s greatest resources. We have a great responsibility to take care of this resource by being good steward.

About a year ago, the Spokane City Council asked the Water Department to prepare a plan to promote water conservation.  The result is the proposed 2020 Water Conservation Master Plan. 

This conservation plan is limited to strategies that we can use to reduce “demand” for water by our customers. The 2020 Water Conservation Master Plan document can be found online.

Importantly, the plan is designed to:

  • Accommodate growth without additional pumping of water from the aquifer. Basically, that means we want to support population and economic growth through reduction in water use existing customers. Using those water savings means our community can limit construction of expensive new water infrastructure to support growth.
  • Reduce the peak use of water in the summer time used for outdoor irrigation. Water use more than triples in summer months as our citizens water their lawns and gardens, along with parks and golf courses and other high irrigation users. Lowering that peak demand for water builds a safer, more reliable, and more cost-effective water system. It also has the potential to lessen the impact on river flows during dry months.

To work toward these goals, our plan expands on current conservation program elements. Things like education, facility efficiency improvements, rebate programs, our wastewater conservation credit and a tiered water consumption rate structure already are used to promote conservation.

If the plan is adopted, customers can look forward to a new menu of water efficiency rebate opportunities including: high efficiency toilets, low-flow showerheads, irrigation controllers, sprinkler nozzles, expansion of our popular SpokaneScape program, and more. We are working to invest dollars wisely to achieve conservation goals, while also maintaining the affordability of water service for our citizens.

The proposed plan was developed by City staff, reviewed by a City Council-appointed advisory group, called the Sustainabiity Action Sub-Committee (SAS), and reviewed by Council Members themselves.

The Council ultimately will consider adopting the plan during at one of their meetings. Once scheduled for Council discussion, you’ll be able to find it posted on the Council’s Meeting agenda page.  

With this Water Conservation Master Plan, we really are looking to provide the goals, targets, strategies and actions to conserve and protect our water and to sustainably manage it for future generations. The water conservation activities included provides an opportunity to reduce demand while minimizing customer sacrifice and have been selected based on their pumping reduction potential for a reasonable cost.

As a City, we also are working on “supply” side improvements to reduce water use. We have robust programs to reduce distribution system loss, to improve water meter accuracy, and more. These programs are part of the City’s Water System Plan, which is submitted to the Washington state Department of Health.

Taking care of our water requires all of us to have a role. This plan provide lots of great insight into how to do just that.

Water Conservation Master Plan Infographic 1
Water Conservation Master Plan Infographic 2

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