Seattle Public Utilities
Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is the Seattle, Washington's water utility, and provides drinking water and wastewater treatment. SPU collaborates with the scientific community and water utilities locally, nationally, and internationally to enhance its knowledge of potential climate impacts and capacity to prepare. SPU has also strongly emphasized community engagement and equity issues through the creation of a variety of organizations and programs.
Climate adaptation measures under consideration by SPU include:
- Physical modifications to structures
- Changing the operation of infrastructure to reflect changing conditions
- Embedding climate information into asset management and decision-making tools
- Incentivizing changes in water consumption behavior
- Developing early-warning systems for urban flooding
- Amending or implementing new codes and policies
The Environmental Justice and Service Equity Division of Seattle Public Utilities engages communities of color, immigrants and refugees, customers with low income, and customers with limited English proficiency as partners and collaborators to improve Seattle’s quality of life. SPU's primary strategies include:
- Embed race, social justice, and service equity policies and practices across the utility
- Model and advocate for inclusive community engagement within the utility in partnership with communities
- Further align division efforts within SPU, as well as city, county, and community efforts
These strategies are accomplished through three major program areas:
- Environmental Justice Network in Action fosters partnerships with Seattle’s many diverse communities.
- The Women and Minority Business Enterprise program helps businesses connect with SPU and get the tools they need to do business with government contracts.
- Equity planning and analysis outlines how SPU participates in key decision-making processes and on project teams through the use of equity planning tools.
SPU engages in collaborative activities through the Water Utility Climate Alliance, National Climate Assessment, Climate Impacts Research Consortium, Northwest Regional Modeling Consortium, and Climate Impacts Group of the University of Washington’s College of the Environment.
Phone: (206) 684-3000