Water Shortage Contingency Plan

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) has a Water Shortage Contingency Plan (PDF) which provides guidelines for SPU to manage water supply and demand in the event of a supply disruption. This plan addresses both progressive situations, such as those that are weather-related, and more drastic and immediate situations such as facility emergencies (for example, a major pipeline break).

According to the Water Shortage Contingency Plan, the department would respond to a potential or actual shortage using a phased approach:

  • Phase I: Advisory Stage
  • Phase II: Voluntary Stage
  • Phase III: Mandatory Stage
  • Phase IV: Emergency Curtailment Stage

The Water Shortage Contingency Plan was updated based on feedback received from SPU's wholesale customers and community advisory committee, as well as resource agencies, tribes, and other stakeholders, such as the landscape industry. The revised and updated version of the plan was adopted with the 2019 Water System Plan. The plan is designed to be flexibly applied according to the specific situation and includes communications, demand management, and supply actions that may be taken.


Contact Information

Kelly O'Rourke
Water Conservation Manager
(206) 684-5881


Public Utilities

Andrew Lee, General Manager and CEO
Address: 700 5th Avenue, Suite 4900, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34018, Seattle, WA, 98124-5177
Phone: (206) 684-3000

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Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is comprised of three major direct-service providing utilities: the Water Utility, the Drainage and Wastewater Utility, and the Solid Waste Utility.