The North Bend City Council unanimously agreed July 20 to work with the Saving Water Partnership.
The partnership is a collaboration between Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and its 17 utility partners that purchase water through SPU. The purpose is to reduce water usage in Seattle and King County.
“I’m very excited about this,” said North Bend Mayor Rob McFarland. “To me, this is the third leg in fulfilling our commitment made over a year ago in the water conservation ordinance for how we are going to be better stewards of our water overall, taking care of both our environment and the public.”
The goal of the Saving Water Partnership is to keep the average annual retail water use of its members under 110 million gallons a day through 2028, while the county population continues to grow. The program aims to do this by reducing per capita consumption.
“This is particularly important in maintaining a growing conservation ethic in the face of a significant regional population growth,” said Ted Stonebridge, the city’s water operations manager.
The program provides a combination of services to help reduce per capita water consumption. The program will offer education through the distribution of flyers and materials as well as participation in community events. It will also perform a 50-minute in-class program for students in grades K-8.
Staff at the Saving Water Partnership are also available on request to perform on-site evaluations of residential and business properties, and provide leak detection kits for residents free of charge. Rebate programs are also available for replacing or fixing old and inefficient appliances, including toilets, urinals, coin-op washers, ice machines, dishwashers, food steamers and other items that are proven to reduce water usage.
Classes in water reduction for residents and landscaping professionals will also be made available. The services will only be open to those who receive water from the City of North Bend.
The program is expected to cost the city $20,000 in 2021 and $17,000 annually in following years.
“The big picture is this is a comprehension program,” said Kelly O’Rourke, a water conservation manager with Seattle Public Utilities. “We have programs that focus on each of the different sectors of opportunity for single families, multi families, and commercial customers. There’s something for everyone.”