Customer Service: 503-823-7770
GENERAL INFORMATION: 503-823-7404
The Portland Water Bureau is actively committed to understanding and planning for a range of climate change impacts to the City's drinking water system by:
Applying the best available climate science and working with research institutions and climate scientists to assess how climate change could affect the Bull Run Watershed (the City's primary surface water supply) and future water supply planning. For example, PWB collaborated with the Climate Impacts Research Consortium (CIRC) to develop customized hydrologic and climate modeling tools for the Bull Run watershed. PWB is using the developed tools to inform long-term water supply planning, summer supply and regular operations, and stream temperature management in Portland’s water system. More information on the developed tools are available here.
Understanding how climate risks and extreme weather events are likely to affect built assets and infrastructure, and how utilities are responding by building new infrastructure, replacing or repairing assets, and changing operations. A PWB survey report on climate risks to assets is available here.
Partnering with large drinking water utilities (through the Water Utility Climate Alliance) and other water utility groups to develop and share climate information, science, and decision support tools;
Implementing strategies to prepare for climate change as part of city-wide efforts, including the City of Portland and Multnomah County's Climate Change Preparation Strategy and Risk and Vulnerabilities Assessment;
For more information contact:
Kavita Heyn, Climate Science Program Coordinator
Learn more about water utility climate adaptation from WUCA:
Portland’s primary drinking water supply, the Bull Run Watershed, depends on rain rather than snow, making it more resilient to warming temperatures.
The Bull Run reservoirs drawdown during the summer. Fall and spring rains are important for reservoir refill.
Climate models project a warmer future Northwest with drier summers, wetter winters and heavier rainfall during storm events.
Portland's backup groundwater supply increases the water system’s resilience to climate change.
Meeting Future Water Demand
Portland’s water system is expected to continue meeting customer needs into the future, based on 30-year population and demand projections.
Snow keeps stream temperatures cold for salmon. Warmer temperatures could lead to less snow in the Bull Run Watershed in the future.
Northwest climate will continue to be annually and seasonally variable, even as the long-term climate shifts.