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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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Free Water Conservation Give-Aways Coming to an Event Near You!

Free water conservation give-aways

We like things that save water and we think you will, too.

That’s why we’re heading out to events around the city this summer to get our water-saving give-a-ways in to your hands and home. 

Free water efficiency devicesFree Water Efficiency Devices

Devices you might see at events include faucet aerators—these increase water savings while still producing good pressure—and fill cycle diverters to help save water in older toilets, shower timers, and more!

Visit us at these summer events:

Jade District Night Market: Saturday, August 19 and 26.

Sunday Parkways - Outer NE PDX: Sunday, August 20    

Look for the Portland Water Bureau booth where you can check out our devices, order a free lead-in-water test kit, get your water questions answered, and fill up your water bottle as you discover all the ways you can be water smart.

"Is There Enough Water to Get Us Through Summer?" Answers to Your Summertime Water Questions

Bull Run Lake

While Portland is fortunate to have an abundant supply of drinking water, once the hot days settle into the Willamette Valley, people begin to ask whether we have enough water in the Bull Run Watershed to get us through the summer.

And for this year, like most, the answer is yes.

How We Plan for Summer Water Supply

Each year, our summer supply planning experts develop a Seasonal Water Supply Augmentation and Contingency Plan also known as the Summer Supply Plan. This plan evaluates the amount of water that is available from the Bull Run reservoirs and groundwater sources, projected weather forecasts, and the amount of water the region typically uses. Between careful management and the region’s strong conservation efforts, we are prepared to meet Portlanders’ summer water supply needs.

Graph outlining usable storage in the Bull Run Reservoirs
Did you know that the Bull Run reservoirs can fill up quickly after a long summer drawdown? A significant fall rain event can abruptly refill Bull Run Reservoirs in as little as two to three days. That’s about 150 million gallons each hour filling up the reservoirs.

How Your Water System Works

The Bull Run water system is designed to capture and store rainfall from the rainy season to provide enough water during the dry summer months.

Along with stream inflows into the watershed and the approximately 9.9 billion gallons stored in the two Bull Run reservoirs, there is enough supply to meet water demand during most years.

During drier years, the Columbia South Shore Well Field groundwater source can be used to make up any supply deficits.

As we do every year, we are carefully watching our water supply throughout the summer.

Drawdown 101

Drawdown occurs when Portlanders use more water from our reservoirs than streams carry into them. This happens every year until the fall rains return and refill the reservoirs. This year, drawdown began on June 22.

Columbia South Shore Well FieldTwo Sources, More Choices

Did you know that the Bull Run Watershed gets its water primarily from rain, not snow?

The watershed gets approximately 135 inches of rain each year, about three to four times more rain than we get here in town.

Portland’s secondary water supply is the Columbia South Shore Well Field. The well field has 26 wells in three aquifers that can initially produce nearly 95 million gallons per day. Each year during drawdown, our Operations folks perform a groundwater maintenance operation to ensure that the well field is operational in the event it is needed for emergency supply.

With an average daily summer water demand of 114 million gallons, the bureau carefully plans to meet the needs of our customers.

Saving Water Starts at Home

The Water Bureau’s best partner in ensuring that we have more than enough water for years to come is you!

The bureau has a Water Efficiency Program where you can learn more about using water wisely all year round with information about native plants in your garden and low-flow devices for your showers, faucet and toilets.

Water Planning Information

For updates and more information about how we plan for future water use, visit

Lock It Up: Protect Yourself from Water Theft

You wake up one morning to find your outdoor faucet turned on full-blast, but you didn’t turn it on. How did this happen?

It may seem like an obscure crime, but every year the Portland Water Bureau receives calls from customers who report people stealing water from unsuspecting households. Thieves simply help themselves to unlocked hose bibs, or prank players turn on your outdoor spigot for whatever reason prank players play pranks. In fact, KGW reported yesterday that customers in Southeast Portland are having their outdoor hose bibs – another name for an outdoor spigot – turned on.

The Water Bureau encourages our water consumers to take a moment to share this information with your neighbors, family, and friends.

Locked hose spigotDid you know that you can protect yourself from water theft by securing your outdoor hose? 

Hose bib locks are designed to secure a faucet from unauthorized tampering and water theft. Many locks fit three-quarter inch (¾”) garden hose thread faucets and are perfect for securing vacant homes, winterizing, or any time you want to have full control of water use from your hose bib. 

Hose bib locks are small, inexpensive, easy to install, and can be found at most local home improvement stores and online. 

And if you wake up one morning to find your spigot spewing water and you suspect foul play, call the police and make a report.


Contact the Portland Water Bureau. We're here to help!

Join Our Team: Principal Engineer and Senior Administrative Specialist

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 Opportunities at the Water Bureau

Position   Emp. Type   Salary   Closing Date/Time Join Our Team 
Principal Engineer Full Time  $8,815.00 - $11,757.00 Monthly Mon. 8/31/17 4:30 PM Pacific Time Apply Here!
Senior Administrative Specialist Full Time $3,946.00 - $6,075.00 Monthly Mon. 8/14/17 4:30 PM Pacific Time Apply Here!

All completed applications for this position must be submitted no later than 4:30 p.m. on the closing date and hour of this recruitment. E-mailed and/or faxed applications will not be accepted.

Learn More About the Water Bureau


For more information regarding career opportunities at the Water Bureau, contact (503) 823-3515 or e-mail.

Personal Safety Reminder

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Personal Safety TipPortland Water Bureau Security learned today that a man identifying himself as a Portland Water Bureau employee asked to take a water sample from the home of a Northeast Portland customer. The person was described as a young man wearing blue polo shirt.

The Portland Water Bureau wants you to know that although Water Bureau employees may knock on your door to ask a few water-related questions, they will never ask to enter your home without a previous appointment.

 The public is reminded of the following safety tips in situations like this:

  • Do not open the door to someone you don't know.
  • Ask for proper official identification.
  • Look for a city utility vehicle.
  • Call the police if you feel suspicious about someone at your door.
  • Share information about suspicious people with your neighbors.
  • Ask for the person's purpose for being there.
  • Do not allow anyone unknown to enter your home without a bona fide prior appointment.

E PlatePortland Water Bureau employees always drive "E-plate" vehicles with logos and carry identification badges.

If someone knocks on your door claiming to be from the Portland Water Bureau, ask to see an ID badge and/or call and check with the Water Bureau at 503-823-7770.

A true employee will encourage, not resist, efforts made by a customer to confirm that they are legitimate.