As communities have grown and the demand for safe drinking water has increased, the approach to water conservation has changed. The new emphasis is on using water efficiently before water supplies are diminished to a point where water conservation is required. The City of Wenatchee is committed to ensuring that current and future water needs are met for area citizens. The City’s Water Use Efficiency and Xeriscape brochures provide helpful information on how you can use water more efficiently.
The Washington State Legislature passed the 2003 Municipal Water Law (MWL) to reform the state’s water laws. It added flexibility in the use of municipal water rights but required municipalities to use water efficiently.
Municipalities must publicly establish water savings goals for their customers, develop a program to support these established goals and yearly evaluate and report the progress towards the goal. This is the demand or customer-side goal.
The municipality must also have a program for the supply or distribution side of the water system. The municipality must achieve a standard of no more than 10% water loss, this is unaccounted for water lost through leaks, stolen water and inaccurate water meters.
Updating Water Use Efficiency Goals
The water utility's previously adopted goals will expire at the end of 2018. State law requires that the city goes through a public process to establish new water savings goals for our customers. A new goal needs to be established for the next 6 years.
The City staffed a table us at Pybus Public Market on August 29th to allow our customers an opportunity to provide comments on three proposed demand or customer-side goals. City water customers also supplied a couple of alternate water use efficiency goals.
- Reduce residential seasonal outdoor water use by an additional 2% by December 31, 2024.
- Reduce by 5% the average amount of water purchased in the month of July from the Regional Water System by December 31, 2024. July is the peak month for water purchased.
- Set a residential water use goal of 125 gpcd (gallons per capita per day) by December 31, 2024.
After the public forum the goal with the most public support will be presented to Council for adoption.
The Distribution System Leakage (unaccounted for water) for 2017 was calculated to be 13.5% and the resulting 3-year average was 15.6%. The goal of reaching less than 10% was not met, this will continue being the goal for the City.
Annual Performance Report:
Fix a Leak Week - March 19-25, 2018 was the Environmental Protection Agency's 10th Annual Fix a Leak Week!
- More than 1 trillion gallons of water are lost annually nationwide due to easy to fix leaks inside and outside American homes.
- When looking for leaks check in the kitchen, all bathrooms and outdoors.
- If a leak can't be repaired and the fixture needs to be replaced look for an EPA "Water Sense" labeled model. Water Sense labeled toilets, faucets and shower heads are independently certified to use at least 20% less water while still meeting EPA's strict performance criteria.