Mike McGinn, Mayor
4/6/2012 9:30:00 AM
SPU Customer Service (206) 684-3000
New Water System Plan Released for Review
Seattle invites public comment on its updated analysis
SEATTLE—Seattle’s drinking water continues to be among the best in the nation. To maintain its high quality and reliability, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) updates its strategic, long-term plan every six years. Public comment on the draft plan is open through May 31 with a review meeting to be held April 17 at City Hall.
The new plan updates the forecast of customer demand for water, analyzes impacts from climate change, sets the utility’s conservation goal, and proposes capital investments through 2040, among other topics.
Seattle plans for its regional system, serving approximately 1.3 million people throughout the Puget Sound area. Key elements of the draft 2013 Water System Plan include:
- A revised forecast of water demand that is lower than the 2007 forecast — indicating no new water supply is needed before 2060.
- New climate change analyses showing less of an impact on water supply availability than previous studies — because of updates to assumptions about water supply and lower forecast water demands.
- A commitment to conservation programs, with the 2013-2018 conservation goal aiming to reduce per-capita water use from current levels, despite population growth, for the Saving Water Partnership comprised of Seattle and 18 of its wholesale customers.
- Capital facilities investment projections that are less than $45 million annually by 2025 (in 2011 dollars). This is a decline in total capital spending levels compared to the 1990s when major projects, such as the Tolt and Cedar water treatment plants, were constructed; 1999 water system expenditures topped out at over $140 million.
“Our customers are helping to push the need for additional water supply investments out into the future through their conservation efforts. In fact, total water consumption is now lower than it was in 1957, despite population growth,” SPU Director Ray Hoffman said.
“Over the past 25 years, we’ve made generational investments totaling to more than $2 billion in our water supply, transmission and treatment facilities. Now we can focus on maintaining pipes that deliver water to homes and businesses,” Hoffman said.
The draft 2013 Water System Plan was prepared by SPU under regulations adopted by the Washington State Department of Health (WDOH) for public drinking water suppliers. The plan is also consistent with the WDOH Water Use Efficiency Proposed Draft Rule, requirements of the Growth Management Act, and local and regional land use plans.
A public review meeting on the draft plan will be held on Tuesday, April 17, from 4 to 6 p.m., at the Bertha Knight Landes room in City Hall. The meeting is co-hosted by SPU’s Water System Advisory Committee. Written public comments are due by May 31, 2012.
The draft 2013 Water System Plan is available online, at: www.seattle.gov/util/WaterSystemPlan
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In addition to providing a reliable water supply to more than 1.3 million customers in the Seattle metropolitan area, SPU provides essential sewer, drainage, solid waste and engineering services that safeguard public health, maintain the City's infrastructure and protect, conserve and enhance the region's environmental resources.