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Seattle Is On A Water-Saving Roll – But Don't Stop Now

Seattle Public Utilities says its dams are about three-quarters full.
Flickr photo/Konstantin Stepanov (CC BY 2.0)

Way to go, Seattle and Tacoma and Everett. You’ve cut your water use by 14 percent over the past eight weeks. That handily beat the goal of the region’s city water managers of a 10 percent reduction.

The bad news, the cities said Wednesday, is that typical fall rains still haven't arrived (despite the drizzle outside) to end the drought gripping Washington state.

That means the region’s dams are still having to release water into rivers to support Chinook salmon and other fish.

Tacoma Water says its reservoirs are still near normal because of a mix of conservation and groundwater pumping, but the Seattle and Everett utilities say theirs are below 75 percent of typical levels for this time of year.

"So, yes it's raining, but they haven't filled the reservoirs enough,” said Kelly O'Rourke, a water conservation planner at Seattle Public Utilities. “And so we need to keep reminding folks to please reduce their water use, in order that there's enough water for people and for fish."

O'Rourke asked people to keep conserving water until at least the end of the year.

The cities recommend people take shorter showers, fix leaks, wash only full loads of laundry and don't water outside.

Photo: The Water Story by Konstantin Stepanov on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)