Voluntary Water Conservation

Posted Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Due to seasonal low water flow conditions in the Skagit River, the city of Anacortes and Skagit Public Utility District water customers are being asked to reduce voluntarily their water usage by 10 percent.

The Skagit River and its feeder streams are a main source of water for the Anacortes and PUD water systems. At this time, there is an adequate amount of water to cover basic needs. However, we are asking customers to curtail discretionary water use in order to maintain minimum water levels in the Skagit River for the protection of fish habitat.

In 2001, the Washington State Department of Ecology established minimum instream flow levels for the Skagit River. An instream flow is simply the minimum amount of water required in a stream or river for the protection of fish habitat. When the river falls below prescribed levels, Skagit PUD and the city of Anacortes are required to provide public notification in accordance with a long-term water rights agreement signed in 1996. Although every year is different, there are generally two times a year when we anticipate the Skagit River falling below instream flow levels—once in late winter/early spring and again in late summer/fall.

WHAT CAN PEOPLE DO TO HELP?

When low-flow conditions do occur, if every customer could find a way to save 15-20 gallons of water per day, we would roughly hit our 10 percent water reduction goal.

Here are some simple water-saving ideas you can use at home:

  • Shorter showers—five minutes or less.
  • Turn water off when brushing teeth.
  • Let lawns go dormant in the summer.
  • Water plants deeply and less often.
  • Flush the toilet less.
  • Fix leaks around the house.