Water Use Efficiency Rule

A growing population, agriculture, industry, and the importance of conserving water for fish have placed an increasing demand on Washington state’s water resources.

To help meet these growing needs, the Washington State Legislature passed the Municipal Water Supply - Efficiency Requirements Act of 2003, better known as the Municipal Water Law. The law gives municipal water suppliers certain benefits and obligations. One of the obligations is to comply with the water use efficiency rule.

The water use efficiency rule affects all municipal water suppliers, which includes community water systems with 15 or more residential connections and some non-community water systems that use water in a residential manner (RCW 90.03.015). Chelan County PUD provides water to some 5,000 customers in rural Wenatchee, Olalla Canyon, Dryden, Chelan Ridge and Chelan Falls.

Key elements of the Water Use Efficiency Rule are:

  • Water Use Efficiency Planning – As part of a water system plan or small water system management program, municipal water suppliers must collect data, forecast demand, evaluate leakage, evaluate rate structures that encourage water use efficiency, and evaluate or implement water use efficiency measures.
  • Distribution Leakage Standard – Municipal water suppliers must meet a state distribution system leakage standard in order to minimize water loss in the distribution system.
  • Water Use Efficiency Goal-Setting and Performance Reporting – Municipal water suppliers must set water use efficiency goals through a public process and report annually on their performance to customers and the Department of Health, and also make the information available to the public.

Detailed information on these requirements is available on the Washington State Department of Health website.

Chelan County PUD adopted water use efficiency goals for its Wenatchee area water system in 2007 and for the Olalla Canyon, Dryden, Chelan Ridge and Chelan Falls water systems in 2008. Progress on meeting those goals will be reported annually to customers through published Consumer Confidence Reports.