Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

Portland Water Bureau

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


1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97204

More Contact Info

State of Portland’s Water Supply

By Lindsay Wochnick

With Governor John Kitzhaber declaring a drought emergency in nine Oregon counties, many Oregonians, including Portlanders, are concerned about the state of their drinking water supply. 

Since 1993, the Portland Water Bureau’s Summer Supply Planning work group has begun planning for summer season conditions in March of each year. This year was no different; however, two challenges increased the complexity of the planning process: 

  • The Water Bureau is implementing modified flow and temperature mandates to support fish habitat in the lower Bull Run River. The bureau’s Operations Group in coordination with the Resource Protection and Planning group utilizes different levels and flows from Dams 1 and 2 to lower the Bull Run streamflow temperatures as required by the federal Clean Water Act.
  • There are numerous conduit and piping projects at the Headworks facility that have made the transition to the new requirements difficult. Without a high level of coordination between groups, maintaining compliance would be even more difficult.

At this time, the Water Bureau does not anticipate making any adjustments to water supply operations, as the reservoirs in the Bull Run are almost full. Later during the summer, a decision will be made on whether to augment the Bull Run supply with the Columbia South Shore Well Field groundwater supply. The bureau will carefully monitor conditions in the coming months, and be able to supply its customers the high quality water that they expect.


Please review our Code of Conduct rules before posting a comment to this site. Your comment will be visible to site administrators only.

Submit a Comment
Name (optional)
E-mail (optional)
 Remember Info Yes   No
Spam Prevention In the Pacific Northwest, what state is Portland in?