Spokane City Council overrides mayor’s veto of water restriction ordinance

Spokane City Council

Credit: Spokane City Council

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane City Council voted to override the mayor’s decision to veto an ordinance that restricts when the public can water their lawns.

The special consideration passed with a 5 – 1 vote. Michael Cathcart was the only councilmember to vote against the decision.

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The ordinance prohibits people from outdoor watering between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. between June and October. It also limits watering to two days per week if the Spokane River drops below 1,000 cfs (cubic feet per second).

“This new policy simply asks Spokane residents to consider their impact on our river, infrastructure, and fire suppression capacity during the summer season,” said Councilmember Lori Kinnear, who co-sponsored the legislation. “Any enforcement of these new expectations won’t occur for at least two years, and there are no financial consequences for non-compliance. Codifying these measures is fundamentally rooted in education. When we set these expectations, we are also committing to messaging to residents why it’s essential to begin to shift our water use habits.”

Spokane Mayor Woodward vetoed the ordinance on June 2, which the Council passed on May 23. The Council decided to consider overriding the veto in their next meeting on June 2 as well.

Woodward’s veto on the water restriction ordinance is the second veto she’s done since she took office as mayor.

The ordinance is subject to change and will be monitored by the Council in collaboration with the Spokane Water Department.

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