Water use efficiency goals are a requirement of Washington State’s Water Use Efficiency (WUE) Rule.* The WUE Rule is an outgrowth of the State’s Municipal Water Law, which requires municipal water suppliers to use water more efficiently in exchange for water right certainty and flexibility to help them meet further demand.
The essence of these requirements is to ensure water utilities set a quantitative Water Use Efficiency goal (using a public process) and report their usage annually to the state’s Department of Health and to customers.
North City Water District WUE Goals – 2019-2028
As part of regional and local efforts to protect and conserve our water source, North City Water District has set the following two goals for meeting Water Use Efficiency, adopted at an Open Public Meeting of the Board of Commissioners on July 16, 2019:
1. Local, District-Specific Goal
North City Water District will continue to provide comprehensive community awareness and education about water conservation, water issues, and the District’s involvement in these efforts.
2. Regional, Customer-Driven Goal
As a member of the Saving Water Partnership (SWP) and stewards of our shared water resource, North City Water District will continue to uphold their regional goal of keeping the total average annual retail water use under 110 million gallons per day through 2028, despite forecasted population growth.
How We Achieve These Goals Locally
- Comprehensive Water System Planning: as detailed in the last five issues of our newsletter, North City Water District conducts extensive planning to provide a proactive roadmap for the next ten years.
- Hydraulic Modeling: this involves measuring measure water flows and pressure at a number of different locations within our water system, in order to identify necessary improvements.
- Capital Improvement: by addressing some capital improvement projects every year, while proactively planning for significant facility upgrades over one or two decades, we’re able to achieve a more gradual financing solution as well as a proactively updated water system with minimal water loss and maximum water efficiency.
- Financial Management: routine, careful, comprehensive analysis of our water supply, costs of service, funding, capital improvement financing helps us keep the cost of water as low as possible to encourage maximum conservation.
- Customer Service: from the friendly voice on the phone helps you test your toilet to figure out if you’ve got a leak, to crews that make sure your water meter and other system components are functioning properly, we pride ourselves in providing excellent customer service that helps our customers keep their water usage as efficient as possible.
- Community Events: North City Water District prides itself on building strong relationships in our community by attending a variety of local events, where we can answer questions face to face and provide information about water conservation.
- Public Outreach: in addition to our website and blog, North City Water District sends out a quarterly newsletter, and shares routine updates on both Facebook and NextDoor.com that provide important information about the water system, water conservation, and related water issues.
- Community Education: our Board of Commissioners proposed a District-specific goal to continue supporting community education about the District and water issues through our public outreach efforts in printed media, online, and in programs like our annual Fix a Leak Challenge with local area schools.
How We Achieve These Goals Regionally
- Saving Water Partnership: North City Water District has adopted the Saving Water Partnership (SWP)’s regional goal of keeping the total average annual retail water use of SWP members under 110 million gallons per day (MGD) through 2028, despite forecasted population growth.
- Seattle Public Utilities Water System Plan: North City Water District sources all of our water through Seattle Public Utilities (SPU). In 2017, the SPU Operating Board and the Conservation Technical Forum conducted a collaborative process to derive the regional goal for the next ten year planning period. SPU included the new 2019-2028 goal in their 2019 Water System Plan (WSP), which was approved via a regional public process. SPU released the Public Review Draft of its 2019 WSP on March 12, 2018. The recommended final plan was reviewed by Mayor Jenny Durkan and the Seattle City Council. In October 2018, the plan, as recommended was adopted by City Ordinance 125687. The SPU WSP should be approved by state’s Department of Health during the fourth quarter of 2019.
*You can find the WUE rule requirements in WAC 246-290. Goal requirements are found in WAC 246-290-830 Water Use Efficiency Goal Setting and WAC 246-290-840 Water Use Efficiency Performance Reports.