Learn more about how the District plans to address this resource concern in the Long-Range Business Plan for 2011-2015 (pdf file).
Water quantity is an important issue. Having either too much or too little water negatively impact farming, residential infrastructure, and stream health. Everyone uses water, so everyone is affected by its supply, accessibility, and cost.
Pure and clean water is terrific, but we have problems when there is not enough to go around. A lack of water affects the farmer who must irrigate crops, the homeowner who wants to water her lawn, the apartment dweller who wants to wash his car, and the child who begs to play in the sprinkler.
What is a water right?
A water right is the right of a water user to use water from a water source (e.g. a river, stream, pond, or groundwater). Water is publicly owned in Oregon. Water users must obtain a permit or water right from the Oregon Water Resources Department to use water from any source.
Contact your local Watermaster for questions about whether or not you have a water right.
- Irrigation occurs in the Tualatin River Watershed on a large scale (farms) and small scale (urban gardens and landscapes).
- Soil moisture sensors are a great tool to manage irrigation water use.
- OSU has several publications that address irrigation tools, efficiency, systems, and guides.
- Design your landscapes to include water efficient plants. See the Water Efficient Plant Guide for some ideas!
Collecting rainwater from the roof of your home, barn, or greenhouse during the winter is a great way to save water for use in the drier summer months. This water can be used for both potable and non-potable uses.
- Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District
- Portland Purple Water
- American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association
- “Texas Guide to Rainwater Harvesting”
- Oregon Rainwater Harvesting Manual
A 2,000 square foot house in Hillsboro, where annual rainfall averages 38 inches, will have a roof rainwater runoff of 47,500 gallons annually.
A rain garden is a depression planted to native vegetation that allows rainwater runoff from impervious areas (e.g. roofs, driveways) to be absorbed. By allowing stormwater to soak into the ground naturally, water quality is improved.
- Planting Plan examples (from Clackamas SWCD)
- Locating and Sizing a Rain Garden (from Clackamas SWCD)
- East Multnomah SWCD’s Rain Gardens page