Summer Water Supply

It is turning out to be a pretty typical Oregon summer which is good for our water supply. Below is some information to help you learn more about your drinking water and what you can do to use water wisely this summer:

  • Water supply, water sources, and water treatment methods are different throughout the region and the state. Find out who your water provider is or if you are affected by a drinking water advisory by using the look-up tool on and learn more about your water source here
  • Your local water provider and other state, and federal agencies track water supplies closely throughout the year, especially during the summer months. The Oregon Water Resource Department provides a weekly water conditions report which you can sign up to receive via email.
  • The Consortium’s 20+ water providers have been proactively planning for more than 20 years to ensure that the region’s water needs can be met in the face of drought or other water shortages. This summer, Portland metro area water providers are continuing to work closely together to track the region’s changing water supplies, and are ready to proactively address any issues that may arise due to drier summer conditions. 
  • Water providers and their customers take conservation seriously. Despite population growth, per capita water use has steadily declined in the region in large part due to water conservation. 
  • We don’t have water to waste. Here are five ways you can do your part to use water wisely this summer:
  1. Sign up for the Weekly Watering Number. Your plant’s water needs will change throughout the summer, and so should the amount you water. The Weekly Watering Number is the amount of water in inches that you will need to water your lawn and other plants each week. It is based on weather in your zip code, and we will send it to you for free by text or email. Sign up and start watering smart today!
  2. Make sure you are watering your lawn and garden, and not the sidewalk. Your sidewalk won’t grow no matter how much you water it! So, make sure that your watering system is only watering your plants. Here are some tips to make sure it is in tip top shape for its summer workout!

  3. Water less frequently, but for longer.  Established landscapes and lawns need to be watered two times per week. Newer plantings, vegetables, and potted plants may need more frequent watering. Watering less often will encourage your plants to develop a deeper root system so that they are better equipped to handle warmer, drier weather. 
  4. Prevent run off by applying only the amount of water your soil can absorb. Much of the soil in the Portland metro area is clay which means it holds onto moisture well but takes longer to absorb. You may need to break-up your watering session to give your soil time to soak up the water you are applying (e.g. water for 10 minutes, wait 30 minutes for the water to soak in, water again for 10 minutes). 
  5. Make the switch and save. WaterSense fixtures and appliances like smart irrigation controllers, faucet aerators, showerheads, and toilets use at least 20% less water than standard models. More than 10 local water providers have rebate programs for appliances like automatic sprinkler systems and toilets, and most give their customers conservation devices like showerheads or faucet aerators.

Do your part to use water wisely this summer. It's just the right thing to do!