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Communities introduce new water ordinances hoping to combat drought

June 7, 2022 -  By

The Spokesman-Review reports Spokane City Council voted to limit outdoor watering to four days a week and no water permitted between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. This ordinance provides exemptions for vegetable gardens and trees, mitigating fire risk and preserving newly planted landscaping.

“It’s simply setting a normal of what we expect from each other in Spokane around water usage. It’s common sense,” councilman Zack Zappone said. “When there’s a drought, we don’t water on the hottest part of the day. We don’t water every day. We water every other day. It’s simply just don’t be wasteful.”

The Spokesman-Review reports any citizen in violation will not incur penalties or consequences for the first 18 months of this ordinance. Following the grace period, city council and the city’s public works and utilities department can explore enforcement measures.

Meanwhile, The Denver Post reports a new proposal in Aurora, Colo., would eliminate cool-weather turf such as Kentucky bluegrass, fescue or ryegrass in front or side lawns of new residential developments. The ordinance proposed would also limit the amount of grass in planted in backyards.

“We’ve had prolonged drought, compounded by a warming planet, that is forcing us to face a new reality of scarce water resources,” Mike Coffman, mayor of Aurora, Colo., told The Denver Post. “I just think the longer we wait to address the problem, the bigger it’s going to get and the more dramatic the solution will have to be.”

The ordinance, if passed, would take effect next year for new developments and redevelopments.

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