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Portland Water Bureau

From forest to faucet, we deliver the best drinking water in the world.


1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97204

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City's Emergency Coordination Center construction gets underway; Water Bureau offices included

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L-R: Mayor Adams, Carmen Merlo, David Shaff, Commissioner LeonardToday, (from left) Portland Mayor Sam Adams, Bureau of Emergency Management Director Carmen Merlo, Portland Water Bureau Administrator David Shaff, and City Commissioner Randy Leonard broke ground on the City’s new Emergency Coordination Center (ECC), located at SE 99th Avenue and SE Powell Boulevard.

The ECC will be the City’s coordination hub during a disaster. It will bring together City bureaus in a single location during an emergency to harness critical response resources, support elected officials in making policy decisions, and provide safety information to the public.

The $19.8 million facility will also provide a permanent home to the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management and the Portland Water Bureau’s Emergency Management and Security Offices. The new building will be located directly adjacent to the existing Bureau of Emergency Communication facility, or 911 Center.

The City has needed a new ECC since 2007, when it was first identified that the current facility is underequipped, undersized and too geographically spaced apart to accommodate an effective response to a regional disaster.  The new ECC will correct  these shortcomings, and improve the City’s ability to handle an earthquake, flood or other major emergency for decades to come.

The facility was designed by Michael Willis Associates; the general contractor Emerick Construction.

Tim Hall

Public Outreach


A New Look for the Portland Water Bureau Website - Feedback Welcome

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View of Mt Hood from Bull Run Lake near historic cabin.

The Portland Water Bureau is the first of two bureaus to pilot the launch of the City of Portland’s new and improved website. The Portland Fire Bureau also has web changes.

The old City bureau websites are obsolete. Each bureau’s individual website is being replaced with many modern web features and functionality improvements. The web structure has been reduced significantly, and users no longer need to click multiple times to find information. In general, the layout is simplified and less cluttered, making it easier for users to identify and find useful information.

Yet, the Portland Water Bureau website is not just about looking new; it is designed to function better:

  • ADA Accessibility; supporting text-only display, control over font sizes, support for screen readers, and more. 
  • Search Engine Optimization; helping search engines effectively find content.
  • User-centered Orientation; automation of features such as Most Popular and Most Recent content.
  • Mobile Friendly Phone Format; improvements to how content is displayed over mobile devices.

The City’s website is also designed to be consistent from one City bureau to another. On each bureau’s new website -- as they are all upgraded -- you’ll finally be able to find similar information in the same place. A few constant items are:

  • Contact Information – upper right hand corner
  • Featured – News and project updates
  • I want to… – Quick links to most popular information
  • My Account – Easy account sign-in for customers
  • Connect – Social Media and public alerts

As a pilot bureau, we expect there to be some kinks on the website that need to be worked out. There may even be some things users don’t like about the new features. Please tell us. Submit your feedback via the orange Beta survey button at the very top of the new site.

We hope you find the Water Bureau’s new website more user friendly. Also, we encourage you to visit the Portland Fire Bureau’s website too.

Darcy Cronin

Portland Water Bureau Webmaster

7 Tips for Summer Water Efficiency

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Summer has officially started! Here in Portland that means reduced rainfall, warmer temperatures, and a large increase in outdoor water use. To help households use water wisely outdoors this summer,  the Portland Water Bureau  will be posting a series of outdoor landscape tips for the  region.  A  well-designed landscape with a thoughtful  approach to irrigation will help your household use water efficiently while creating a healthy, vibrant outdoor space for years to come.  

Residential Water Use versus Rainfall

Here is the first tip in the series of 7 Basic Steps for Creating Water Efficient Landscapes

Tip #1 Plan & Design

A thoughtful garden plan allows you to create your landscape in phases and help avoid costly mistakes. Your plan can range from a pencil-drawn sketch to a professional master plan.

The first thing to do is take note of the numerous microclimates in your yard. A microclimate is an area with specific growing conditions, such as sun exposure, humidity, soil type, and wind direction that affect how well plants will grow. By noting these areas in your plan, it will help you design and select appropriate plants for each area.

Start by dividing your yard into four different light exposures – north, south, east, and west. What kind of light is available during various parts of the day – bright sunlight, filtered sunlight, or shade? Remember, morning sunlight is cooler than afternoon sunlight.

Next, be sure to include the location of existing structures, trees, shrubs, and important views you want to keep (or eliminate). You can then identify specific types of plants you would like to incorporate. Alternatively, based on light exposures, you can be more general in your approach: consider placing a tree that thrives in partial shade in the northwest corner of your yard and sun-loving shrubs in the southern-facing part of your landscape.

If you need help with your landscape layout, the Naturescaping for Clean Rivers program offers classes on how to design water efficient gardens that help manage stormwater and provide habitat for wildlife.  Classes and a tutorial can be found at the Naturescaping website

You can also consult a landscape professional who can provide advice, critique your plan, or develop a design plan for you.  A number of local nurseries are offering landscape design services.

The Portland Water Bureau is a member of the Regional Water Provider’s Consortium. These tips are based on the RWPC brochure 7 Basic Steps for Creating Water Efficient Landscapes.   

Water Efficiency Team

Bring Bottled Water When Hiking Trails at Powell Butte Nature Park

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At Powell Butte, with the closure of the main parking lot and its restrooms and drinking fountain due to construction, park visitors are reminded to fill and bring their own water bottles when hiking on the trails. There are no public water fountains inside the park, or at the temporary parking locations. Remember to also bring water for your pets.

Temporary portable toilets are available to the public at both the Gates Property parking lot at SE Holgate and SE 136th Ave. and at the Vivian lot at 14424 SE Center. ADA parking and ADA trail access are available at the Vivian lot. See:  Alternate Parking & Access Points Map

The Anderegg and Wild Horse trails will be connected to the Mountain View Trail.  Improvements to the The Dogwood Trail are complete and it is open.  

The park center facilities will remain closed through December 31, 2012.

Tim Hall
Public Information Manager
Community Information & Involvement

Help Preserve the Splendor of Oregon Beaches

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Help preserve the splendor of Oregon beaches 

The Portland Water Bureau is joining local and state agencies across Oregon -- at the request of the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department -- to spread the word that when visiting the Oregon Coast, you can help keep our beaches clean by removing human-made debris that washes up. 

Everyone is talking about debris from the tsunami that struck Japan in 2011, and we will see some of those objects here. However, debris lands on our shores all year long. No matter where it came from, you have a chance to protect Oregon’s beaches.

What can you do to help? Depends on what you find:

Litter and other typical marine debris. Examples: Plastic bottles, aluminum cans, buoys, Styrofoam.

If practical, we encourage you to remove small debris and recycle as much of it as possible. If you can’t remove the debris from the beach by hand, please move it far enough away from the water so it doesn’t wash back out at high tide. If you see a significant amount of debris, or something too large to move by hand, report it by email with the date, location and photos to If the debris has organisms growing on it, throw it away in a garbage can or landfill, or move it above the high tide line and report it.

Derelict vessel or other large debris item. Examples: Adrift fishing boat, shipping containers.

Contact 911. If the debris is a hazard to navigation, contact the US Coast Guard Pacific Area Command at 510-437-3701 for assistance. Do not attempt to move or remove vessels or containers.

Mementos or possessions. Examples: Items with unique identifiers, names, or markings.

If an item can (1) be traced back to an individual or group and (2) has personal or monetary value, contact the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department at 1-888-953-7677, or by email at so we can make appropriate arrangements for return of items to Japan.

Potential hazardous materials. Examples: Oil or chemical drums, gas cans, propane tanks.

Call 800-OILS-911, or the National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802 to report the item with as much information as possible. Do not touch the item or attempt to move it.

Be ready: carry a durable bag while you stroll along the coast. 

For more information, visit

Tim Hall
Public Information Manager
Community Information & Involvement