The average person in Spokane County used 217 gallons of water per day in the year 2000. The Washington State average is 114 gallons per day (USGS, 2004). According to officials from the Department of Ecology and the Spokane Aquifer Joint Board almost all of the difference is in landscape watering. Water use during the summer months triples.
The Spokane Valley-Rathdrum Prairie Bi-State Aquifer Study determined that water levels in the aquifer are not declining. So why the concern over summertime water use? The study also demonstrated the link between the aquifer and the Spokane River. Summer withdrawals from the aquifer result in lower flows in the Spokane River. The Department of Ecology reports that a 10% reduction of summer withdrawals from the aquifer would increase summer flows by 40 cfs, or approximately 5% of August river flow. Visit the USGS Spokane River Gage at Spokane (just below the Monroe Street Bridge) for real time river flows.
Because of the large amount of outdoor summer water use, the most gains can be made when focusing our conservation efforts in this area. The documents and websites to the right are excellent resources.
Additionally, access the United States Geologic Survey report regarding estimated water use in the United States which includes water use trends.
Spokane County Environmental Services is a promotional partner for EPA WaterSense.
Commercial and institutional facilities can find a lot of great tools, training and Best Management Practices online at EPA WaterSense Commercial.
The Drought Impact Reporter is an interactive web-based mapping tool designed to compile and display impact information across the United States in near real-time from a variety of sources such as media, government agencies, and the public. Launched in July 2005, this tool is the only nationwide, multi-source archive of drought impact information. Check it out!
For more Drought Resources, the documents and websites to the right are excellent resources.