Protecting and preserving our water resources is a long-term goal of the City and is part of our sustainability efforts. Using less water also translates into savings on utility bills. Water customers pay both a monthly base fee for water as well as a water consumption rate tied to the amount of water they use. Beginning in 2015, the City has instituted a wastewater bill discount for the lowest 20% of indoor water users.
In Spokane, water use more than triples in the summer time and now is the perfect time to make sure you're watering efficiently! The Spokane Water Department has resources available to help our customers reduce their water use and utility bills. Some of the free resources for our customers include:
Utility customers can pick up a free conservation kit from the main floor of City Hall at the Customer Service desk.
You may earn up to a $500 credit on your utility bill after removing lawn in your yard and replacing it with water-smart plants and mulch. You may claim $0.50 per square foot of lawn removed with a minimum of 300 square feet. Trading out your yard for artificial turf does not qualify.
What is a SpokaneScape?
A SpokaneScape is water-efficient landscape that has been designed specifically for Spokane residents; its focus is on the replacement of lawn with low-volume irrigation and drought tolerant plant material. A well-designed SpokaneScape will beautify your property, protect our natural resources and the environment; and will inevitably reduce maintenance.
For questions about the rebate, please call 509.742.8177.
There are lots of simple ways to reduce the amount of water that we use at home, both inside and out. Explore our links to find even more ways to save!
Timing is Everything
Let it Grow
Tune Up Your System
Water When Needed
How Much is Enough?
One of the easiest ways to save water is to make sure that you are not overwatering your lawn and plants. Most of us water more than we need to, which not only wastes water but ends up drowning our plants.
What is Drip Irrigation?
Drip irrigation is the slow, precise application of water directly to the plants' root. A drip irrigation, micro-irrigation, system can be customized to meet your landscape's specific needs while maintaining an optimum moisture level for your plants, efficiently conserving water that might otherwise be lost.
The Benefits of Drip Irrigation
Drip irrigation is an efficient and economical method of watering. Experts say that drip irrigation is at least 90 percent more efficient than other irrigation methods and reduces runoff and evaporation. Drip irrigation applies the water slowly where it is needed—at the plant's roots.
Commonly used in commercial nursery and agricultural operations, homeowners are beginning to take advantage of its uses and benefits.
Drip irrigation involves placing tubing with emitters on the ground alongside the plants. The emitters slowly drip water into the soil at the root zone. With this slow, appropriate direct application of water, plant health and growth is improved. In addition, drip irrigation:
Did you know 1" of rain yields approximately 600 gallons of water per every 1,000 square foot of roof space?! With a rain barrel you can capture that rain and reuse it to feed plants with nutrient-dense water, save money on your water bill and reduce harmful urban run-off that would otherwise pollute our watershed and river. Installing a rain barrel is inexpensive and easy. View our guide to learn more.
Is rain water harvesting legal in Washington?
Yes! Under Washington State policy, property owners don't have to acquire a water right permit to collect rainwater. Learn more about state policies on rainwater collection from the Department of Ecology.
Whether adding a few plants or redesigning your entire yard, incorporate a Waterwise design to save water, time and money.
Xeriscape is a type of landscaping that reduces water use and incorporates native and drought tolerant planting. It also requires very little maintenance. Native plants only require trimming a few times a year and a basic treatment for weeds in spring time.
Xeric design by Janis Saiki of The Friends of Manito. To learn more about The Friends of Manito and view more landscape designs, visit thefriendsofmanito.org
Consider removing your turf and replacing with a “No-Mow” design using groundcovers, clover, ornamental grasses, native flowers and shrubs. These are all low-water use and low-maintenance!
For even less maintenance, consider artificial grass. A number of manufacturers have developed versions that aren't easy to distinguish from the real thing.
Plant Native and Drought Tolerant
Once established, these plants require little water beyond what Mother Nature provides. The WSU Extension Office has comprehensive lists of native and drought tolerant plants, shrubs and trees.
Get Flush With Savings
Lighten Your Loads
Accessorize Your Faucet
Investigate your water saving opportunities in each area of your home here
Look for Leaks
While some leaks are easy to see, many can be hidden. Find out if you have a leak in your home by reading your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the readings are different, you have a leak.
Providing education for adults and youth is an important part of our mission. Our program includes:
Teaching Resources for Environmental Education
The Project T.R.E.E. guide lists classroom presentations, field trips, and other programs available at no cost to your school from various environmental agencies in Spokane County. These offerings enhance your curriculum and support Next Generation Science Standards while connecting students to issues that directly relate to their community.
For additional information on educational opportunities and how to conserve water, contact Kristen Zimmer, Water Stewardship Educator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 509.742.8144.