Seattle Asks Residents To Conserve Water Too... : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

City Asks Residents To Conserve Water Too... January 24, 2001 By Greg Todd

KING COUNTY - First you were asked to conserve electricity because of the power crunch. Now there's concern about the water supply if we don't begin conserving now.

About 11 inches of rain has fallen on Seattle since the beginning October. That's about eight inches below normal.

The snowpack in the Cascades is also well below normal for this time of year -- about half what it should be.

That could have a serious effect on our water supply if our dry weather pattern does not change over the next two months.

The Tolt and Chester Morse reservoirs provide Seattle residents with most of their tap water. Those reservoirs are normally kept low in the winter anyway to help with flood control in the event of heavy rains. But Morse is about five feet below normal winter levels now.

Seattle Water Resources Manager George Schneider says he's not worried yet.

"The reservoirs are holding steady. They're not that far below normal," says Schneider.

But if this weather pattern continues into March, Schneider says we could see a short water supply this summer.

"If the snow isn't there and we haven't had the rain to bring the reservoirs up, then we would start to get concerned," says Schneider.

Water managers are asking people to help conserve water, no matter what the weather does. Something as simple as not letting the faucet run while brushing your teeth can make a difference.

"It adds up," says Seattle Resource Conservation Manager Rich Gustav. "When you multiply those kinds of actions by 1.3 million water customers, it can make a big difference," he said.

For more ideas on how to conserve water, go to this address:

-- Martin Thompson (, January 24, 2001

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