Spokane City Council approves drought response ordinance to limit lawn watering

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane City Council voted 5-2 on a water conservation and drought ordinance that limits how often the community is allowed to water their lawns.

According to the ordinance, the city will implement a prohibition on watering outdoor vegetation from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. between June 1 through October 1.

“Ultimately, this ordinance requires residents to irrigate their lawns less often and outside of peak heat hours, providing cost savings to ratepayers, while simultaneously being good stewards of our Spokane River,” Councilmember Lori Kinnear said. “This ordinance does not include penalties. We are reimagining how we change our watering habits to decrease household, industrial, and commercial usage.”

The ordinance limits watering outdoor vegetation to four days per week. Exceptions are allowed for landscapes, gardens, maintaining tree health, and mitigating wildfire risk.

Any upcoming changes in incentives, rates or surcharges are not scheduled to begin until after December 1, 2023, after the highest water users in the community are contacted.

READ: City Council rejects Councilmember Michael Cathcart’s alternate drought ordinance