Pierce County aims to curb water usage by 10 percent

Pierce County officials announced Monday they will take steps to reduce water usage by at least 10 percent in response to current drought conditions.

“I am asking staff to reduce the irrigation of lawns and landscaping at our facilities until further notice,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. “We are experiencing a record drought and will continue to water our landscaping enough to keep it alive but our lawns will likely start to go brown if drought conditions linger.”

McCarthy added that staff will continue to water ball fields and golf courses to ensure the safety of players and a quality experience, but that Pierce County will also look for additional ways to reduce water use within its office buildings.

Prior to this effort, Pierce County has reduced water use at its facilities by 19.6 percent since 2009, saving 15.4 million gallons each year in county-owned buildings, according to Pierce County officials.

Pierce County is also urging residents to consider cutting back on water use at work and at home during the drought, adding that allowing lawns to go dormant, checking for water leaks, and sharing information about the drought with friends and family can help reduce water use as well.

More information about Pierce County’s water supply is available online at savingwater.org. More information about Pierce County’s efforts to conserve water at its facilities is available online here.

Citing drought conditions, Pierce County officials are not irrigating the lawn at the County-City Building in order to conserve water. (PHOTO COURTESY PIERCE COUNTY)

Citing drought conditions, Pierce County officials are not irrigating the lawn at the County-City Building in order to conserve water. (PHOTO COURTESY PIERCE COUNTY)

Last month, the City of Tacoma joined the City of Everett and the City of Seattle in implementing the first stage of their water shortage response plans as a result of historic low river levels, record-setting hot and dry weather, and an increased demand for water (see “Hot weather forces Tacoma to activate water shortage response plan,” Tacoma Daily Index, July 27, 2015).

Last week, Tacoma Assistant City Manager Mark Lauzier asked general government department directors to reduce water consumption in their departments by at least 10 percent (see memo below or click here).