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For the past nine years the City of North Bend has actively pursued water conservation through ongoing customer conservation education, distribution system leak reduction efforts, water fixture efficiency requirements, and in 2020, the Water Conservation Ordinance (WCO).
These conservation efforts have resulted in reduced water usage, even with a growing number of water customers. In 2009, the City of North Bend had approximately 1,700 water meters, which grew to over 2,400 in 2020. In 2009, the City produced 230 million gallons of water to serve customers. In comparison, in 2022 – 13 years later, and with several thousand new residents – the City had reduced water production to 190 million gallons.
Residents and City water customers are understanding and doing their part to conserve this limited natural resource. Water conservation, combined with the City’s mitigation requirement to pump cold, clean water into the Snoqualmie River, establishes North Bend as a model city for environmental conservation.
Climate change continues to impact King County and the Pacific Northwest region. Due to a very hot and dry May, snow melted in the Cascade mountains faster and earlier than typical years. It has resulted in lower than usual flows in the Snoqualmie River in August through October, in turn, impacting the overall health of the river, especially the habitat for migrating salmon lower in the watershed.
The City of North Bend entered Stage 3 of the WCO on September 5, 2023 and will remain in this stage until further notice.
This fall, Seattle Public Utilities and the Cascade Water Alliance joined in on water conservation efforts by asking their customers to be mindful of water usage during this water shortage period.
In addition, the Sallal Water Association is anticipated to adopt their own water conservation measures. Their intention is the same: to protect their customers and the Snoqualmie Watershed, ensuring that existing and future water customers have access to this finite, natural resource.
This warm trend in weather is expected to continue into the fall and winter as El Niño conditions continue in the Pacific Northwest. Mayor McFarland commented, “We all understand that future years may be dryer than average, putting pressure on water systems that serve our growing region. Common sense water conservation measures, such as North Bend’s WCO, are a step in the right direction to educate, encourage, and if needed, enforce wise use of this precious resource.”
Efficient use of water remains a key component to the overall management of water. The City appreciates your efforts to help conserve water and protect the Snoqualmie River. Learn more about water conservation in North Bend by visiting www.northbendwa.gov/166/Water-Conservation.