Councilman Cathcart suggests alternative to proposed water ban

SPOKANE, Wash. – Councilman Michael Cathcart is proposing an alternative to a water ban currently under consideration by the Spokane City Council. 

Cathcart says he wants to reduce water usage in the city through incentives and education instead of penalties, fines and possible criminalization. 

Councilwoman Lori Kinnear put forward a proposal earlier this month that would restrict water usage between the months of June and October. If passed, people could not water outdoors from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and would have to water on specific days depending on where they live. 

Those who don’t follow the ordinance would be fined. Cathcart disagrees with the approach. 

“Too often government prefers a heavy-handed approach which rarely achieves the desired results. This alternative ordinance is a reasonable and achievable opportunity to encourage less water use and assist citizens in reducing their water costs while saving our local government from substantial costs and inequitable enforcement measures related to water,” Cathcart said. “We cannot afford to spend additional dollars on this kind of enforcement, especially with other priorities in our community that we already cannot afford.” 

Cathcart will present his alternative ordinance during Monday’s Briefing Session. The council with then vote on it during Monday night’s Legislative Session. 

READ: Spokane City Council approves emergency interim zoning ordinance