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Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) has a Water Shortage Contingency Plan (pdf) which provides guidelines for SPU to manage water supply and demand in the event of a supply disruption. This plan addresses both progressive situations, such as those that are weather-related, and more drastic and immediate situations such as facility emergencies (for example, a major pipeline break).
According to the Water Shortage Contingency Plan, the department would respond to a potential or actual shortage using a phased approach:
The Water Shortage Contingency Plan was designed with the involvement of wholesale customers, customer user groups, resource agencies, tribes, and stakeholders such as the landscape industry. A revised and updated version of the plan was developed for the 2007 Water System Plan. The plan is designed to be flexibly applied -- according to the specific situation -- and includes communications actions, demand management actions, and supply.
Water Conservation Manager