Emergency Preparedness | Regional Water Providers Consortium

Emergency Preparedness

Attendees at an emergency preparedness outreach event review materials available from the Consortium.

Working together to increase the resiliency of the region’s water supplies.

Our 23 water provider members work together to plan for events that could impact local water supplies, because our job is to make sure water is there for you when you need it – even during an emergency.

Anticipation of a Cascadia earthquake and the Oregon Resilience Plan drives much of the Consortium’s preparedness activities, but water providers are also working to address other potential emergencies such as: fire, severe storms, flooding, volcanic eruptions, drought, contamination, terrorism, and power outages.

Program Elements

  • Drills and tabletop exercises: We conduct large-scale drills and tabletop exercises so water providers and their partners can practice responding to realistic scenarios that could affect the region’s water supplies.
  • Public outreach: We are committed to providing our members’ customers with the resources they need to safely store and treat water in an emergency because we know the public plays a vital role in our region’s ability to recover from large-scale disaster such as an earthquake. The Consortium currently promotes preparedness through a multimedia outreach program that includes TriMet bus ads, a television campaign, print materials and how-to videos. Find out what you can do to prepare for an emergency. If you are prepared, water provider staff, first responders, and others will be able to focus on recovery and repair of our water systems.
  • Tools and Equipment: Since 2003 the Consortium has secured more than two million dollars in federal grant money to purchase emergency water treatment and distribution equipment  and to prepare a regional study on water system interconnections.
  • Regional Partnerships: We collaborate with state and regional stakeholders to improve regional communication, emergency preparedness, response and recovery. The Consortium is a member of the Regional Disaster Preparedness Organization (RDPO) and Oregon Emergency Management Association
  • Support each other through mutual aid: We support mutual aid agreements such as the Oregon Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (ORWARN) so that when an emergency strikes, water providers are ready to help one another out.

The Consortium has an emergency preparedness committee that meets six times annually to advise and assist Consortium staff with its work plan implementation.

What water providers are doing

Individually, water provider’s work focuses on ensuring that their water system can deliver you the water you need, when you need it 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

In addition, water providers are completing seismic upgrades and other projects to make water systems more resilient. Read about some of these projects here.