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The City of Portland, Oregon

Nick Fish (In Memoriam)

City of Portland Commissioner

phone: 503-823-3589


1221 S.W. 4th, Room 240, Portland, OR 97204

Before and after

November 9, 2015

What a difference a few weeks – and a major rain storm – makes.

Just last month, our Bull Run reservoirs’ water levels dipped below the tree line – this is known as a “drawdown.”

A drawdown occurs when the city draws more water from our reservoirs than streams carry into them. It’s common during the warm, summer months – before the fall’s rain returns.

Here in Portland, we are fortunate to have an abundance of water in our Bull Run Watershed. Unlike many Oregon cities, we never faced drought conditions for our drinking water this summer. In addition to the Bull Run, Portland has a back-up supply at the Columbia South Shore Well Field. When needed, well field water is blended in with Bull Run water to supply Portlanders.

Now, after an impressive Halloween storm and a few weeks of rain, the Bull Run reservoirs are once again full!

We are lucky to have some of the best drinking water in the world, thanks to the incredible Bull Run and our Columbia South Shore Well Field.

And, our high-quality, safe, and reliable Bull Run water is a big hit! In the City Auditor’s 2015 Community Survey, 87% of residents gave our drinking water high marks!

Water Bureau staff took some impressive before and after photos that show what the Bull Run looked like during the drawdown and after the recent rains.

Check out the Water Bureau’s website to learn about the Bull Run Watershed.

Green Living: Bull Run Watershed, oil trains in Portland

Katu Staff