Lawns? Fuck lawns! All three cities are asking that residents cut their water use by 10 percent.
Lawns? Fuck lawns! All three cities are asking that residents cut their water use by 10 percent. Maksud/Shutterstock

Two weeks ago, for the first time in more than a decade, Seattle triggered its water shortage plan by issuing an advisory. Along with Everett and Tacoma, Seattle Public Utilities asked its customers to manage their water usage without making sacrifices.

Today, all three cities have elevated that water shortage plan to the "voluntary" stage. They're asking—asking nicely—that people cut their water usage by 10 percent.

Conservation managers are reckoning with record-breaking stretches of heat and record-low streamflows because of this winter's snowpack drought. Across the state, water utilities are trying to reserve enough water for people, fish, and farming.

SPU will post its first update on the 10 percent reduction goal on August 24. If people can't cut down their water use to that level, conservation managers could move to a mandatory stage in the water shortage plan. The next step: the emergency stage. Thus far, Seattle has never needed to activate its emergency water-shortage planning.

Here's how SPU recommends using less water:

Let your lawn go dormant and limit plant watering to twice a week – Doing this at home and at businesses can make a big difference. 


Water plants before 8 a.m. or after 7 p.m. — If you are watering, do it during this timeframe to reduce the impact of evaporation.
 
Reduce your showering time at home, work and the gym


Check for and fix leaks now, including checking your toilets for silent leaks


Wash only full loads of laundry and dishes


Find more water saving tips at www.savingwater.org