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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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Water Cycle

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

2015 Cycle the Wellfield

On May 30, more than 50 cyclists joined the Portland Water Bureau and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council for the annual Cycle the Well Field event, a bicycle tour of Portland’s groundwater drinking water source.

Cyclists enjoyed a 16-mile ride through the city’s Groundwater Protection Area, learning how groundwater gives the city flexibility and reliability in its water supply and what members of the public can do to help protect this important resource.

One participant summed up the event well, saying, “I learned so much, and it has inspired me to discuss our water supply and safety with my neighbors.”

Test Your Groundwater Knowledge

1.  What percentage of Oregonians rely on groundwater for drinking water?
     A. 25%
     B. 48%
     C. 70%

2.  In what year did the Cities of Portland, Gresham and Fairview together institute a groundwater protection program?
     A. 1988
     B. 1970
     C. 1957

3.  How many feet is Portland’s deepest drinking water well?
     A. 430 feet
     B. 650 feet
     C. 870 feet

4.  The Columbia South Shore Well Field can produce up to __ million gallons a day of high-quality drinking water from __ wells.
     A. 75, 20
     B. 102, 27
     C. 150, 32

1. C; 2: A; 3: B; 4: B

Water Bureau Career Opportunities Showcased at Women in Trades Career Fair

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

Women in the Trades Career Fair Women in the Trades Career Fair

Each year, the Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. produces an interactive, three-day fair that encourages middle and high school girls and women to explore the possibility of a future career in the trades.

Women in the Trades Career Fair Women in the Trades Career Fair

For over 12 years, women from the Portland Water Bureau have been a key part of this unique event with the goal of promoting and supporting the advancement and employment of women in the trades.

“Participating in the Women in Trades Career Fair is one way that we can help strengthen our future workforce. The fair offers participants a glimpse at the skilled jobs, advancement opportunities, and benefits available at the Water Bureau.”


David Shaff, Water Bureau Administrator

Back in May 2015, volunteer tradeswomen from the Water Bureau staffed an exhibit at the fair to provide information on how to get involved in the utility trade through apprenticeship, community college training, and entry-level work.

The tradeswomen showcased apparatus and tools used in the field to repair water main breaks and leaky pipes. Participants also had the opportunity to learn to do a live tap, repair a main break, take chlorine samples, and manipulate a small crane.

For more information about the yearly fair and the Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc., organization, visit

Celebrate ‘Your Sustainable City’ at Summer Events

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

Each year at different events around the city, staff and volunteers from Portland’s Water Bureau, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, Bureau of Development Services, Auditor’s Office, OMF/Purchasing, Bureau of Transportation, and Emergency Management partner and  provide information on the City of Portland’s multiple sustainability-focused programs.

"Your Sustainable City" boothThis united outreach effort, dubbed "Your Sustainable City," offers a wide variety of information on transportation alternatives, water efficiency, recycling, green building, parks services, and stormwater management.

"Your Sustainable City" will be present at several upcoming events this summer:

When attending these events, don’t forget to stop and visit the "Your Sustainable City" booth. You will find information on multiple sustainability-focused programs that Portland offers to citizens, including transportation alternatives, water efficiency, recycling, green building, community engagement, and more. These fun events present a great way to connect with the community and share water knowledge with the public.

See you soon!

City Commissioner Nick Fish Appoints Chief Engineer Michael Stuhr Director of the Portland Water Bureau

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

City Commissioner Nick Fish announced today his appointment of Michael Stuhr as the new Director of the Portland Water Bureau (PWB).

Michael Stuhr"I am delighted that Mike Stuhr accepted my offer to lead the Portland Water Bureau," said Commissioner Fish. "He has extensive experience with Portland’s unique water system and has an outstanding track record as the bureau’s Chief Engineer. I believe Mike is the right leader to continue the bureau’s proud tradition of delivering high-quality, reliable, and safe drinking water to nearly 1 million Oregonians, from forest to faucet."

Stuhr previously served for ten years as the Water Bureau’s Chief Engineer. In that role he successfully delivered major capital projects on time and on budget, including the new Interstate Operations and Maintenance Center and the Dam 2 Towers project in the Bull Run Watershed. He also served as Co-Chair of the Water and Waste Water Task Group for the Oregon Resilience Plan, a 50-year seismic resilience plan to guide policy and investments statewide.

Stuhr’s appointment follows a national recruitment to fill the position. Commissioner Fish and his team worked with bureau employees, partner organizations, and community members to develop the recruitment materials, review applications and interview candidates.

Stuhr holds a B.S. from the United States Military Academy at West Point, an M.B.A. from the University of California at Davis, and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Stanford University.

"I am honored to be chosen by Commissioner Fish to serve as Director of the Portland Water Bureau," said Stuhr. "I look forward to working with Commissioner Fish and the City Council on our shared priorities: stabilizing rates, providing strong oversight on major capital projects, improving our customers’ experience, and ensuring that we have a resilient and safe water system for generations to come."

Stuhr’s annual salary will be $180,000. He will assume his duties August 31, 2015.

Celebrate Portland’s Hidden Waterway at the Columbia Slough Regatta

By Lindsay Wochnick Add a Comment

On Sunday, August 2 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., you are invited take part in the Columbia Slough Regatta.

Participants will meet at 1880 NE Elrod Drive in Portland to enjoy a leisurely group paddle on the safe, calm water of the Columbia Slough.

This family event is held annually and sponsored by the Columbia Slough Watershed CouncilPortland Water Bureau, and many others. The channels and wetlands of the Columbia Slough watershed provide important habitat for bald eagles, turtles, fish, and otters, as well as enthusiastic kayakers and canoeists. The Portland Water Bureau’s Columbia South Shore Well Field is also situated entirely within the slough watershed. 

Photo by: East Portland News

Individuals and families are welcome to bring their own boat or borrow one from the Columbia Slough Watershed Council.

Other activities include community information, paddling safety information, face painting, food for purchase, and free t-shirts. A $8 suggested donation helps to support the Council’s education, restoration, and recreation programs within the watershed. Register now for the event!

If you are interested in volunteering at the Regatta, contact Columbia Slough Watershed Council Volunteer Coordinator Hanna Davis by e-mail.

Doug Wise
Groundwater Protection Program