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Portland Water Bureau

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Portland’s Water System, 100 Years Ago: The Dry Summer of 1915

By Lindsay Wochnick

1915 Clipping from the OregonianWith California, Washington, and several Oregon counties in drought, people on the West Coast have been talking a lot about how we use water.

Here in Portland, we're fortunate: we rely more on rain than on snow; we have a great groundwater source we can use to augment the Bull Run supply; and we have a conservation-minded citizenry.

In the dry summer of 1915, the talk of Portland was also all about how people used water. This editorial from The Oregonian reveals that 100 years ago, the average Portlander used 112 gallons per day. It's a tough number to compare to today's because we're not sure how they did the math, but these days, the average Portlander uses 52 gallons a day at home. (If you include commercial and industrial use, Portlanders use 92 gallons per capita per day.)

Lisa Vieno
Resource Protection & Planning Group

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Spam Prevention In the Pacific Northwest, what state is Portland in?