Water Resources

Water Supply and Demand

Water resources in a growing region

The Central Puget Sound area faces significant challenges in meeting the water needs for people and fish habitat with available resources. Although seemingly abundant to this area, water is a limited natural resource. Demands on this resource have been increasing and are likely to continue to do so in the future, although they will increase more slowly due to conservation. The King, Pierce, and Snohomish County areas have experienced rapid growth over the past 10 years, and an additional 27 percent increase in the area's population is anticipated between 2000 and 2020. In the longer term, a 61 percent increase in population is expected between 2000 and 2050. At the same time, the region is working to recover threatened species of fish by improving fish habitat. In some cases, this may require making less water available for municipal purposes as more water is left in rivers. There is also considerable uncertainty in the overall volume of water resources available to meet the region's needs.