The Bull Run water system is designed to capture and store rainfall from the rainy season to provide an adequate water supply during the dry summer months. The city has an additional, high quality water source in the Columbia South Shore Well Field which augments summer supply. This groundwater source is the state's second largest water supply after Bull Run.
The Portland Water Bureau is prepared to manage the water supply to last until the rainy season begins in the fall, even during atypical weather conditions.
Since 1993, the Water Bureau has developed annual contingency plans for summer season supply. Each spring an interdisciplinary team evaluates a range of variables related to water supply and demand. These include available water supplies, weather predictions, past and projected water demand, the impacts of regional conservation programs, public health protection, water quality, and native fish protection to name a few.
Operational strategies based on the plan are continuously updated throughout the summer -- as warranted by weather, water demand, and/or changes in supply availability.
Visit the Water Bureau’s Seasonal Supply Planning webpage to learn more and access additional information, including the 2014 Seasonal Water Supply Augmentation and Contingency Plan, 2014 Summer Supply Updates, and the 2014 Summer Water Supply Season Retrospective.