KID customers again allowed to spot water lawns

Spot watering of distressed areas of lawns is again being allowed for customers of the Kennewick Irrigation District.

The eased watering guidelines go into effect immediately and are the result of increased water availability, KID officials said Monday morning.

The Washington State Department of Ecology also announced Monday that KID and two other groups have been awarded the first state grants using emergency funding for drought-relief programs.

Under the new spot watering rules, distressed patches can be watered with a hose for up to 30 minutes per day per spot outside of the designated watering schedule.

The irrigation district relaxed watering restrictions in an identical manner in mid-July after cooler temperatures allowed more water to flow back into the Yakima River after irrigation use upstream. Temperatures are forecast to increase later this week.

Under the state grant program, KID has been given $28,872 to help increase water conservation by airing TV and radio ads and hiring an officer to enforce compliance with its irrigation schedule during the drought. KID must match the money.

The state money comes from $16 million approved by the 2015 Legislature for drought-relief efforts by public agencies.

The Stevens County PUD also received money Monday to help drill a new well, and the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe receive money to help with salmon spawning in low water. More projects are expected to be funded in the coming weeks.