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News Release
Your Comments Needed on Water Management and Conservation Plan - 05/20/20

The Portland Water Bureau is seeking input from the public on the draft Water Management and Conservation Plan, which was submitted to the Oregon Water Resources Department on April 30 and published in their public notice on May 19. View the public notice here, https://apps.wrd.state.or.us/apps/misc/wrd_notice_view/?notice_id=21.

The state requires most water providers to develop Water Management and Conservation Plans. As stewards of water, a precious natural resource, water providers are responsible for using water wisely. Focusing on conservation programs, this plan describes how the Water Bureau meets state rules and the drinking water needs of Portlanders.

Whether you’re a resident, business owner, landscaper, or environmentalist, you may be interested in this plan. Here are some highlights of the report:

Plans for encouraging Portlanders to use water efficiently. This report contains a look back and a look forward. It includes information about how we met previous conservation commitments and a list of commitments for the next 10 years. In that span, we’ll work on everything from education to rebates to tools for low-income Portlanders. The report also describes efforts to embed equity into conservation work.

Plans for a potential water shortage. Portland has not had to restrict water use since 1992. But we always want to be prepared in case of a serious drought or emergency. This plan describes plans for water shortages. 

Plans for using water rights. This report is part of the state’s requirement for cities requesting or maintaining water rights. Portland has a “bank” of groundwater rights to meet future demand, and every 10 years, the City is required to analyze whether it needs access to more water. The City is also required to demonstrate that it is using the water it has as efficiently as possible. The Water Bureau has analyzed supply and demand and concluded that Portland has enough water supply to meet projected demand and is not asking for more water from its “bank” of rights.

“This plan reflects how well the City has managed supply over the decades, the strength of the partnerships we’ve built, and how committed Portlanders are to conserving water,” said Rebecca Geisen, the Water Bureau’s Manager of Intergovernmental Coordination, who compiled the plan. 

The state requires a public review period for Water Management and Conservation Plans. That review period is underway now. You can review the plan here, filepickup.wrd.state.or.us/files/Publications/WMCP/Plans%20on%20Public%20Notice/.

If you have questions about the plan, please contact Rebecca Geisen at the Portland Water Bureau: 503-823-7493, rebecca.geisen@portlandoregon.gov.

If you want to submit comments about the plan, please send them to them to Kerri Cope at the Oregon Water Resources Department: 503-986-0919, kerri.h.cope@oregon.gov. The comment period is open until June 18.

About the Portland Water Bureau:  

The Portland Water Bureau serves water to almost a million people in the Portland area. Portland’s water system includes two great water sources, 53 tanks and reservoirs, and 2,200 miles of pipes. With 600 employees working on everything from water treatment to customer service, the Water Bureau is committed to serving excellent water every minute of every day.  For more information, visit portlandoregon.gov/water and follow us on Twitter @PortlandWater.

View more news releases from Portland Water Bureau.