Conserving Eastside water, one prevented leak at a time

Alliance marks 25 years of nurturing water sustainability

In the heart of Bellevue is an organization that embodies the spirit of environmental stewardship and community service: the Cascade Water Alliance. This municipal collaboration, comprising five Eastside cities and two water districts, stands as an example of what can be achieved when communities unite for a common purpose.

As the alliance approaches its 25th anniversary, it celebrates both a quarter-century of service and its pivotal role in providing safe, reliable drinking water to more than 380,000 customers.

Mike Brent, the Water Resources Manager for Cascade Water Alliance, sheds light on the significance of their efforts, especially during events like the nationally recognized Fix A Leak Week. Initiated by the US Environmental Protection Agency, this event underscores the critical value of water and the importance of conserving it.

“At any given time, 10 to 12 per cent of home toilets are leaking, amounting to millions of gallons of lost water per day across the US. This not only represents a substantial waste of resources but also places added strain on wastewater treatment facilities,” Brent explains.

Established in 1999, the alliance was born out of foresight and a collective desire for water independence. Courtesy phoot of Cascade Water Alliance.

Leaks, often overlooked, can occur in various forms, including through shower heads, faucets, or irrigation systems. Cascade Water Alliance emphasizes the impact homeowners can have by focusing on residential water use.

“We don’t have a lot heavy industry in our area; the majority of our water use tends to be on the residential side,” Brent notes, highlighting the organization’s targeted approach to water conservation.

Established in 1999, the alliance was born out of foresight and a collective desire for independence. “Anticipating growth in the area, we decided not to rely on Seattle for water forever. Instead, we joined together to ensure a safe and reliable drinking water supply well into the future,” he says.

Cascade Water Alliance’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond leak prevention. Through social media campaigns like “We Need Water” and participation in events such as the Northwest Flower and Garden Festival and sustainable gardening talks, the organization actively educates and engages with the community.

“Water is critically important to all of us. We don’t have an infinite supply of it. We are bound by what falls from the sky,” Brent says, stressing the importance of collective action in preserving this vital resource.

As part of its water efficiency program, Cascade offers leak detection dye tablets free to customers from one of the seven district members. This initiative, among others, embodies the alliance’s proactive stance on water conservation and its dedication to serving the community’s needs.

As Cascade Water Alliance continues to evolve and adapt to the challenges of a changing environment, its core mission remains steadfast: to ensure the sustainable management of water resources for the benefit of its communities.

For more information visit cascadewater.org. Access learning services to understand the need to prevent leeks and water waste.

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