Friday, July 23, 2010

Deceptively Dry Drizzle: Water Conservation in Western Washington

Think that our persistent drizzly weather means Western Washington has an overflowing water supply? Think again! Dripping in at 36.2 inches, Seattle ranks a rather shocking 44th out of 100 major U.S. cities in average rainfall. While we do have frequent rain, the actual volume remains relatively low.  Additionally, unlike many parts of the country, our summer months prove to be the driest time of the year:

While the dry weather of summer may be enjoyable after a damp winter, these parched months also prove to be the time of highest water usage. With climate change and a predicted population increase of 46% by 2030, the pressure on the water supply is expected to become even greater. 

Tip: While partaking in water-intensive summer activities like caring for your lawn, try to reduce the amount you use. You can also consider conserving water year-round by installing water-saving appliances in your home. Look for the EPA’s new “WaterSense” decal; it serves as an excellent clue about a device’s efficiency. 

-Jess Swihart
Natural History Exhibit Education Coordinator

Sources & Additional Information:
WaterSense: An EPA Partnership Program 
State of Washington Department of Ecology
Partnership for Water Conservation, "Myth vs. Fact: Why Conserve"
The Alliance for Water Efficiency's "State Information for WA"
The 10 Rainiest Cities By AMOUNT of Rainfall:

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