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On June 27, 2023, the Moses Lake City Council adopted Ordinance 3029, updating the City's water conservation guidelines. Here are the main changes: No irrigating on Monday, water conservation measures are now year-round, not just limited from June – September and all irrigation is prohibited from 10 a.m.-7 p.m., year-round. Odd address and even addresses have designated days they can water in order to space out the water demand. Odd addresses may irrigate Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Even addresses may irrigate Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
The City has been monitoring the water levels at our wells. This monitoring effort as well as numerous regional reports have shown that the levels within the City’s wells are declining. Some well pumps are starving for water and sucking air. The restrictions allow for irrigation watering during times of less strain on the system. This reduces the amount of air in the system and conserves water due to efficiency.
The conservation measures can be repealed by City Council. They are also scheduled to be re-visited every two years. The measures are important to help support the struggling aquifer.
Yes, you must prevent the wash water from entering the storm drains. Wash water is considered an Illicit Discharge by Moses Lake Municipal Code 13.02.020. If your nearby drain flows into the lake, the wash water could carry pollutants into the lake.
It would be best to sweep sidewalks to reduce the amount of water for uses other than drinking and cooking.
Grasses typically found in the area are varieties of fescue, ryegrass, and bluegrass. These varieties are known to require late evening or early morning watering. This prevents evaporation loss and restricts how long the foliage stays wet to avoid fungus problems.
You are not prohibited from watering when it’s raining, but you likely don’t need to irrigate if there has been recent rainfall.
No, watering of gardens is usually done in a controlled environment. Water is regulated and plants are typically not overwatered. Excessive watering should be reduced.
Yes. Watering of such vegetation is usually done in a controlled environment. Excessive watering should be reduced.
The City is actively working on multiple programs to assist owners to reduce their water footprint. A few of the programs are rebate programs for irrigation timers and turf replacement rebates.
Some of the City systems are in the process of being updated. Various parks have analog timers that are being updated to include smart technology to detect the presence of rain and shut the system down.
When the intake of the well pumps is not fully submersed in water, or if the water level is drawn down quicker than the water in the aquifer can recharge, it creates cavitation at the intake. Cavitation produces air bubbles in the water.
No, pools and water recreation are typically filled, and the water is shut off once completed.
The well data has shown that on Mondays the water system has the greatest strain. Reductions of irrigation on Mondays allow water to be used for indoor use and reduce air bubbles in water.
Evaporation reduces the effectiveness of the irrigation, humidity, wind speed and temperature can waste 20-30% of the water. Additionally, it provides greater irrigation pressures during the night because the demand on the system is less. This results in better coverage when you do water your turf.
If you can adjust your watering times to the late evenings or early mornings, the increase in watering times is allowed, but not recommended.
Yes. The Parks Maintenance Division has changed all but a few system timers on irrigation systems that use domestic metered water so that they will not water on Mondays and will water no more than three days a week. Parks facilities that are irrigated with lake water will continue irrigating any day of the week that is needed, as they are not subject to the watering restrictions. Allowed exceptions are the City's major athletic fields at Larson, Lauzier, and Yonezawa parks.
The new schedule for irrigating pertains to all customers on City water. This includes businesses and residents inside City limits as well as those customers outside City limits that are connected to City water.
The Water Conservation website has links to numerous documents that provide information about the problem, resources about turf irrigation and examples of attractive Heritage Garden style landscaping that utilize drought tolerant plants.
Many community members are excited at the new industry coming into town and are supportive of the new jobs that will be available for the locals. However, many people are also aware that housing is becoming unaffordable, and one reason for that is because there is not enough housing available.
The City Council has opted to support the construction of new homes and apartments, to help ease the burden for our existing community members. We know that the City will still have enough water for the new homes and businesses, if the existing residents and business owners are willing to do their part to limit the amount of water they use to irrigate their lawns in the summer.
In addition to these conservation measures being asked of the residents, the City is working with the developers constructing new housing developments, to eliminate the use of drinking water for watering lawns. Depending on the location, and when feasible, the City is seeking use of separate irrigation lines that would pump non-potable water.
Yes, there must still be some type of landscaping replacing the turf. The Columbia Basin Conservation District can provide additional resources on alternative plantings or design
Yes, the City is enforcing the water conservation program. Staff are driving neighborhoods and responding to customer complaints. If residents are home, staff first seek to engage the resident or business operate to educate them on the program guidelines. If no one is available at the home or business, a door tag with program information is left.
After contact has been made, the first offense is a warning and additional educated on the water conservation schedule. Further offenses are detailed in Chapter 1.08.030 of the Moses Lake Municipal Code. Second offenses are C-13, third offenses are C-7, and fourth offenses are C-4.