Ensuring clean, plentiful water for people and habitats.

Seattleites can't help but think about water, it's all around us. As a shared resource, we can all help conserve and protect Seattle's water. The City of Seattle, through Seattle Public Utilities (SPU, our publicly owned waste and water utility), has been a leader in providing clean drinking water, developing innovative ways to reduce water use, lowering the amount of pollution going into our waterways and preparing for increased stormwater due to climate change.

OSE's Key Initiatives

The Office of Sustainability and Environment plays a role in the following initiatives. See the Programs & Policies page of this section for additional Water related work the City is engaged in.

Key Initiatives

Seattle will manage 700 million gallons of stormwater with green infrastructure by 2025.

Moving the Needle water overview image

Below is a summary of the Water strategies, goals and progress to date from the City's environmental progress report, Moving the Needle. Visit the Moving the Needle home page for more information, download the full report, or check out the report's Water section for infographics and more.

Seattle will cost effectively manage the drinking water supply and stormwater runoff while protecting public health and the environment. Our strategies include:

  1. Water Conservation

    Reducing waste by not creating it in the first place

  2. Pollution Prevention

    Expand recycling and composting through services, incentives, and regulations

  3. Pollution Prevention

    Partner with the community to stop pollution at its source

  4. Sewage Overflow Prevention

    Use system improvements, green stormwater infrastructure, and flow reduction strategies to protect our waterways.

Water Conservation Use less than 105 million gallons of water per day 93 million gallons per day used in 2013
Watershed Protection Decommission 236 miles of logging roads in Cedar River watershed by 2020 152 miles decommissioned to date
Pollution Prevention Manage 700 million gallons of runoff by 2025 with green infrastructure Manage about 100 million gallons with green infrastructure currently
Increase pollutant removal from roadways 50% increase in pollutant removal between 2011 and 2013
Sewage Overflow Prevention Reduce sewer backups to less than 4 per 100 pipe miles by 2025 Approximately 3 sewer backups per 100 pipe miles in 2013
Reduced sewer overflows to one outflow per year by 2025 52 out of 87 outfalls are controlled