Recent news about state-wide water-use restrictions in California have brought questions about Portland’s water supply to many customers’ minds. Portland’s water supply is very different from most of the water supplies in California, and the Portland Water Bureau does not anticipate a need for water restrictions here.
Portland’s primary drinking water supply is the Bull Run Watershed, whose supply comes from rain rather than snow. The low winter snowpack we have experienced on Mt Hood and other places, doesn’t by itself create water supply challenges for Portland. The amount of precipitation that occurs in April, May and June has a much greater influence on summer water supply in the Bull Run.
Currently our reservoirs in the Bull Run are full, and the Columbia South Shore Well Field, our groundwater source is also available if needed. As stewards of the city’s drinking water, the Portland Water Bureau carefully monitors water levels, weather forecasts, and water use patterns to ensure adequate, clean water for all of our customers. We will be watching our water supply carefully this summer, as we do every year.
While water supplies are on track for this summer, it is always a good practice to use water wisely. For information on rebates, free showerheads, and other water efficiency tips visit www.portlandoregon.gov/water/efficiency.
Sarah Murphy Santner
Water Efficiency Coordinator