Everett Activates Stage 1 of Drought Response Plan

July 27, 2015

Everett, Everett Government

Spada Lake

The Spada Lake reservoir.

The cities of Everett, Tacoma and Seattle today all announced plans to activate their water shortage response plans.

For the City of Everett that means activation of Stage 1 of the city’s Drought Response Plan as a proactive measure. Everett’s water outlook is fair. Calculations show that Everett has adequate water to supply Snohomish County through the summer and fall when the region typically gets rainfall that replenishes water supplies.

“The weather has not been normal this year,” said Mayor Ray Stephanson. “We want to be cautious to ensure that we have adequate supply for all Everett’s customers, which includes most of Snohomish County, and sufficient water to meet instream flow requirements for fish.”

Everett operates a regional water supply system that serves 80 percent of the homes and businesses in Snohomish County. This includes Everett and 95 other cities and water districts and serves a population of about 570,000. Here is a map that shows all of the area served by Everett.

Here’s what a Stage 1 Water Advisory means for Everett.

The Advisory Stage will be triggered by two primary condtions:

 Spada Reservoir storage is less than 80 percent of normal operating capacity as of April 1, due to exceptionally low precipitation, and/or carryover storage from the previous year.
 The snowpack and inflows that feed Spada Reservoir are less than 80 percent of normal levels as of April 1.

The Advisory Stage will focus on external communications. The City will inform wholesale and retail customers that the potential exists for a future water shortage.

This message will include the following basic elements:

 There is a lower than normal supply of water in the Spada reservoir.
 The conditions may return to normal, but it is too early to tell.
 If the conditions don’t improve, additional steps may have to be taken to reduce water consumption.
 Customers are encouraged to use water wisely to avoid the possibility of more stringent actions.

In addition to advising customers about the potential of water shortage, the Advisory Stage will prompt a number of actions:
 The Drought Advisory Committee will be assembled to monitor the situation and assign responsibilities.
 Data collection (e.g., stream flows, snowpack conditions, weather forecasts, reservoir levels) and computer modeling of projected supply, demand storage will be intensified.
 The City will develop a fact sheet that outlines the water situation for water system customer service staff throughout the EWSA.
 Planning and preparation for the Voluntary Stage will be initiated including an assessment of staffing impacts, training needs, and communication strategies.
 The City and/or its purveyors may consider the need for a rate surcharge to promote water conservation.

Everett has a complete list of water supply and drought response documents here along with water conservation tips.

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