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City council overrides veto on new water conservation measures

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Proponents say water conservation measures are needed to protect the Spokane river.

The Spokane City Council has overridden a mayoral veto on a new set of water conservation requirements. The requirements, which are set to go into effect in two years, bar people from watering during the day during drought times and during severe drought periods, limits watering to a couple days a week.

The mayor vetoed the regulations soon after they passed, saying they were punitive. City Councilmen Michael Cathcart and Jonathan Bingle also opposed the requirements, saying the city should instead use incentives.

Before voting to override her veto, city council member Zack Zappone said the requirements are meant to outline the cities expectations.

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

He, and other council members who supported the new conservation measures, said they were needed to protect the Spokane River, and avoid unnecessary costly infrastructure in the future. Most Spokane residents use far more water than the national average.

The ordinance will is in effect between June and October and requires a formal declaration by the mayor, or the city council, to be enforced.