Summer Water Supply

This summer looks like it will be a dry one in the Portland, OR metro area. 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 www.regionalh2o.org and learn more about your water source here
  • Your local water provider and other state, and federal agencies track summer 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 will continue 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. Get your timing right. Water early in the morning (before 10a.m) or later in the evening (after 6 p.m.) when temperatures are cooler and evaporation is minimized.
  2. Change it up throughout the watering season. Your plant’s water needs will change throughout the summer and so should the amount you water. Use the Weekly Watering Number (found at www.conserveh2o.org) to find out how much to water this week. Different plants have different water needs, and you’ll find this info on the website too.
  3. Water thoroughly, and less frequently rather than every day.  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. Plants that have larger root systems are more effective at accessing water and need to be watered less frequently. 
  4. Prevent run off by applying only the amount of water your soil can absorb. Much of the soil in our area includes 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 ten 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.

Taking these easy steps will also save you time, water, and money.