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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Water Bureau

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Water Management & Conservation Plan

2020 Water Management and Conservation Plan 

On April 30, the Water Bureau submitted its draft Water Management and Conservation Plan to the Oregon Water Resources Department.

The Water Bureau's mission is to serve excellent water every minute of every day. The bureau adheres to the value of careful stewardship of natural resources. This means using water as efficiently and sustainably as possible.

To this end, the bureau has prepared an update to its Water Management and Conservation Plan to fulfill the requirements of Oregon Administrative Rule Chapter 690, Division 86 of the Oregon Water Resources Department. Focusing on conservation programs, the draft plan describes how the Water Bureau meets state rules and the drinking water needs of Portlanders.  Here are some highlights of the report:  

  • Plans for encouraging Portlanders to use water efficiently. This report contains a look back and a look forward. It includes information about how the bureau met previous conservation commitments and a list of commitments for the next ten years. In that span, the bureau will work on everything from education to rebates to tools for low-income Portlanders. The report also describes efforts to embed equity into conservation work.  
  • Plans for a potential water shortage. Portland has not had to restrict water use since 1992. But the bureau always wants to be prepared in case of a serious drought or emergency. This plan describes plans for water shortages.   
  • Plans for using water rights. This report is part of the state’s requirement for cities requesting or maintaining water rights. Portland has a “bank” of groundwater rights to meet future demand, and every ten years the City is required to analyze whether it needs access to more water. The City is also required to demonstrate that it is using the water it has as efficiently as possible. The Water Bureau has analyzed supply and demand and concluded that it has enough water supply to meet projected demand and is not asking for more water from the “bank” of rights.