Water Restrictions May Be In Spokane’s Future

SPOKANE — A new ordinance is being proposed by Spokane Mayor Mary Verner which could limit the amount of water people in the city can use over the summer to irrigate their lawns.

Under the proposed ordinance people will not be allowed to water their yards between the hours of 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. The restrictions would be in effect from May through September.

One of the main reasons for the proposal is the water level in the Spokane River. Over the last few years the water has been falling steadily during the summer months, and city water usage could be causing the problem.

Spokane households use 120,000 gallons of water per year, which is twice as much as a household in Boise. It’s also double that of most other cities in the non-coastal areas of the western United States.

“Probably watering too much,” Mayor Verner’s Chief of Staff Ted Danek said. “Local landscaping companies consistently say that Spokane puts too much water on its lawns.”

The mayor’s office is also considering another ordinance that could dictate when people can water their yards. They would use house numbers, both odd and even, to separate the days when people can use water.

All of these restrictions and regulations are still in the research stages. The mayor’s office hopes to be able to bring these proposals to a city council vote in the near future but they say they it will not likely happen until after July.