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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Water Bureau

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

Customer Service: 503-823-7770


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July is Smart Irrigation Month

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It has been a hot and dry June here in Portland, and July looks like more of the same weather. Water supplies are still looking good, and while we don’t anticipate a need for watering restrictions, it is important to use water wisely. The Irrigation Association has named July Smart Irrigation Month, and offers the following advice for smart irrigation practices:

  • If you have an in-ground irrigation system it is important to regularly inspect the system for leaks, broken or mis-aligned sprinkler heads. Irrigation systems are often scheduled to run in the early morning hours, which may mean problems are not seen. If you are in need of professional assistance with your irrigation system, contact a certified irrigation contractor for assistance.
  • Consider upgrading your old irrigation controller to a new “smart” irrigation controller to tie your irrigation practices directly to seasonal weather conditions. The Portland Water Bureau offers rebates for smart controllers.
  • If you water your landscape with a hand-held hose, use a device with an automatic shutoff nozzle. If you need one, we would be happy to send you one! Call 503-823-4527.

A well-designed and well-maintained irrigation system will use water efficiently while creating a healthy landscape for years to come. Click here for additional ways to make every drop count in your landscape.

Sarah Santner
Water Efficiency

Join our Team: Water Treatment Operations Supervisor & Apprentice Utility Worker II

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If you're interested in joining an award-winning public utility where employees thrive on the pride of delivering a life-essential product with world class customer service, the Portland Water Bureau might be just the place for you.

The Water Bureau is a recognized leader in the utility industry. We've achieved this success by investing in the very best people and empowering them to find new and better ways to meet our customer's needs.

The Water Bureau currently employs approximately 560 people. All current job postings with the City of Portland are posted online, and updated weekly. We are an equal opportunity employer that values diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Current Jobs Available at the Water Bureau

Position Emp. Type Salary Closing Date
Water Treatment Operations Supervisor Full Time $6,357.00 - $8,545.00 Monthly 7/20/2015
Utility Worker II - Apprentice Full Time $17.33 - $22.90 Hourly 7/24/2015

TRAFFIC ADVISORY 07/08/15: Traffic, bike and pedestrian traffic controls in place on 1900 block of North Interstate

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The sidewalk will be closed to pedestrians, and the bike and motor vehicle lanes will shift to the west on North Interstate Avenue between North Tillamook Street and the intersection of North Interstate and North Larabee avenues. These traffic controls will are in place and will continue through the first half of August. Hours of operation are 7 am to 3 pm, Monday-Saturday.

 A contractor for the Portland Water Bureau will be removing the brick face of the bureau’s building at 1900 North Interstate. To protect the public, a construction barrier will be moved close to the sidewalk curb and the bike and motor vehicle lanes will be shifted to the west to make room for both types of vehicles.

 Motorists and bicyclists are urged to use alternate routes, remember to drive slowly, and exercise caution when traveling in the construction area.

 Project information can be found online at

Governor Brown Declares July 'Water Awareness Month'

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On July 7, Governor Kate Brown declared July "Water Awareness Month."

Currently, 20 counties in Oregon are under emergency drought declarations and approximately 98 percent of the state is experiencing drought. 

"I am asking all Oregonians to do their part to use water wisely," said Governor Brown. "Water is the foundation for local economies and ecosystems, and essential to the health and well-being of Oregonians. Drought is a slow moving disaster, adopting responsible water use practices now will help reduce the impact of drought for years to come."

While Portland is not experiencing a water supply shortage, nor do we expect to this summer, the Portland Water Bureau joins Governor Brown in helping to raise water awareness at home, play, and work.

Portlanders are encouraged to visit the Water Bureau’s Water Efficiency webpage for information and technical resources on using water efficiently and cost effectively.

To learn how the Portland Water Bureau is ensuring clean water for our customers by carefully monitoring water levels, weather forecasts, and water use patterns, click here

Our Water Supply, An Update

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Reservoir 1 in drawdown, July 2015 
Reservoir 1 in drawdown, July 2015

The U.S. Drought Monitor identified Portland as experiencing a moderate drought in its weekly map of drought conditions last week.

It is important for Portland metro area water users to note that while the Drought Monitor has made its assessment based on factors including local stream flows, temperature and soil moisture, Portland does not have a water supply shortage.

The report itself explains, “Municipal water supplies for the metropolitan areas of western Oregon and Washington are adequate even though the other indicators are showing intense drought development, especially over the last two months.”  

Portland’s water source, the Bull Run Watershed, is a low-elevation watershed that gets its water primarily from rain, not snow. The watershed gets approximately 135 inches of rain each year, about 3-4 times more rain than we get here in town.

Thanks to careful planning, the Portland area has a high-quality secondary water source. The Columbia South Shore Well Field can be used in addition to the Bull Run supply during dry periods.

The Bull Run watershed, in combination with the Columbia South Shore Well Field, is capable of meeting Portland’s water needs throughout the summer.

A Q&A about Portland’s water supply can be viewed here. You can also find updates at the Portland Water Bureau’s Seasonal Water Supply Planning webpage.

The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Jaymee Cuti
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