Statewide Drought Affects Snoqualmie Water System | River Flow Down Drastically, Citizens Asked to Conserve

Low winter snowpack, a dry spring and a (so far) hot summer is a recipe not good for local water supplies. And Friday, June 26, 2015, the City of Snoqualmie is officially asking its citizens to make changes to their water use habits.

Governor Jay Inslee already declared a statewide drought emergency due to a widespread lack of snowfall last winter. Subsequently, the city says water flow in the Snoqualmie River has dropped drastically – down more than 60% of its usual flow. At the same time, water use by City of Snoqualmie customers is nearly 6% higher than this time last year.

City officials say to reduce potential hardships from water shortages this summer and beyond, conservation is critical. The City of Snoqualmie Parks & Public Works Department asks citizens to support the their efforts for immediate water conservation actions.

The City of Snoqualmie is already limiting water usage in parks, planting beds, and roadside bio swales; increasing production of reclaimed water; working with Water Management Group to optimize irrigation; and identifying conservation opportunities with local businesses and organizations. Officials say other actions are also being considered to prevent a water emergency in Snoqualmie.

What Residents Can Do to Support Water Conservation

 Outside

  • Water lawns in morning or evening to reduce water loss from evaporation.
  • Allow some areas of landscaping to go brown for the summer.
  • Check sprinkler systems, positioning, and timing devices.
  • Plant native and/or drought-tolerant ground covers and shrubs.
  • Turn off hose between rinses when washing cars. Consider using a commercial car wash that recycles water.

Inside

  • Turn off the water while brushing teeth, washing face, and shaving.
  • Wash only full loads in dishwashers and clothes washing machines.
  • Check for leaks everywhere including shower heads, faucets, and toilets.
  • Compost food waste instead of using the garbage disposal.
  • Install low-flow shower heads, faucets, and toilets. (Free efficient shower heads are available through PSE while supplies last.)
Photo: Don Detrick

The Snoqualmie River flow has dramatically decreased this year by 60%. Photo: Don Detrick

 

Comments

  1. mike jefferies says

    When the city stops wasting thousands of gallons of water pumping out the hydrant by my house every few weeks, I’ll start conserving water.

  2. Inga Rouches says

    As I drive through the ridge now to get to my house I see a lot of water in the evening on and along the roads on the ridge from the sprinklers of Snoqualmie Ridge. How can you ask the citizens to conserve water when this waste is happening? Please consider turning off the water that goes to the grass strips along the road – it seems like such a waste.

    • Danna McCall says

      According to the city, that water used to water is reclaimed water, which is different than what homes on Ridge use to water their lawns.

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