In 2003, the Legislature made water efficiency a priority for the state by passing the Municipal Water Law (2ESSHB 1338). This law and the resulting Water Use Efficiency (WUE) rule provides direction in the development of WUE program goals, 70.119A RCW.
The Municipal Water Law provides significant benefits to all municipal water suppliers by giving them greater certainty and flexibility in the exercise of their water rights. Pressure on the state's limited water supplies is steadily increasing; the WUE requirements will help achieve the level of stewardship necessary to protect and preserve the state's water resources.
What enforcement is being done to ensure compliance?
Municipal water suppliers that meet the WUE requirements are important for water conservation. Our compliance strategy emphasizes technical assistance by providing the tools necessary to meet the WUE requirements. We prioritize enforcement actions against the most serious violators, especially those that endanger public health. We created opportunities and tools for water systems to comply, giving them enough time to establish WUE programs that are effective and meet the intent of the rule, RCW 70.119A.180(7).
Since 2008, we have sent over 2,000 violation letters to ensure compliance with the many WUE regulations.
As of 2014:
- Over 90% of water systems have consistently submitted the annual WUE report.
- 76% of water systems have adopted water reduction targets aimed at reducing customer water use.
- 1,144 water systems have installed meters on 100% of their service connections.
- The statewide distribution system leakage is averaging 9.6%.
More information is available in the Water Use Efficiency Progress Report (PDF)