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Western Washington is now experiencing its driest summer on record since 1930 and warmest since the 1890s.
Effective Thursday, October 20, 2022, North Bend Public Works Director Mark Rigos has declared the City will move to Stage 2 of its Water Conservation Ordinance (WCO) until further notice.
WCO Stage 2 provides residents with a series of simple directives for water usage:
Public and private streetscape landscaping (medians and frontage) will be watered on the same odd/even schedule.
As a reminder, if you install or already have a drip irrigation system and that is your sole source of watering, you are exempt from the WCO.
Why is Stage 2 required?
The WCO is part of North Bend City Council’s ongoing commitment to be good stewards of the environment, conserve a limited natural resource and protect the Snoqualmie River.
The City’s WCO stages are set by levels of the Chester Morse Lake Masonry Pool located near Rattlesnake Lake, which is owned by Seattle Public Utilities (SPU). SPU provides/sells water to approximately 25 water jurisdictions in the region, including mitigation water to North Bend. During dry periods, all those water jurisdictions’ usage draw down Masonry Pool levels. Masonry Pool also feeds Hobo Springs through an underground moraine, which supplies the City with mitigation water which helps protect the health of the Snoqualmie River.
Earlier this year, the City was hopeful Stage 2 would not be needed - due to the fairly large preceding winter snowpack and cool, wet spring. However, once the dry heat arrived in the Puget Sound region in June, it did not leave. Western Washington is now experiencing its driest summer on record, since 1930 and warmest since the 1890s. In fact, according to the National Weather Service, on October 16, Seattle hit 88 degrees, its second warmest day in October in almost 130 years. The prolonged period with no rain, along with an unseasonably hot September and October, have drawn the Masonry Pool lower at a faster pace than anticipated.
Resources and more information about local water conservation and weather events can be found here:
The City appreciates residents’ efforts to comply with the WCO. Due to shorter days and longer, cooler nights, the City is confident the odd/even water schedule will provide sufficient water to sustain landscaping.