With Dry Weather, Water Conservation is More Important than Ever

Posted Mon, 06/29/2015 - 3:55pm

LAKE OSWEGO – Most of Oregon is experiencing moderate to severe drought. Lake Oswego is fortunate that it gets its water from the Clackamas River and its summer flows are sustained largely by creeks and streams that originate from aquifers (groundwater). However, the streamflow of the Clackamas River is currently below normal.

The City’s Water Management and Conservation Plan, adopted by the City Council and approved by the State, specifies certain stages to implement actions in the event of a water shortage.  The current river level has triggered a “stage one” alert as a proactive, voluntary call to action to all Lake Oswego water customers to take steps to conserve and lower water use this summer.  The City encourages its customers to be good stewards by using water sparingly and efficiently, indoors and out.

“The City of Lake Oswego wants to be proactive and raise awareness by asking our customers to conserve water during the dry summer months,” says Kari Duncan, Water Treatment Plant Manager. “It’s important to monitor our usage this summer and reduce needless waste.”

Some easy tips to reduce usage:

  • Adjust sprinklers so that they only water the lawn or plants that they are intended to water and not the streets, sidewalks and driveways.
  • Keep a pitcher of tap water in the refrigerator, so it’s already cold.
  • Only run full loads in your dishwasher or washing machine.
  • Turn the water off when brushing teeth or shaving.
  • Shorten shower times to 5 minutes (timers are available for free on the 3rd floor of City Hall).
  • Replace older toilets (rebates are available online at: www.ci.oswego.or.us/publicworks/water-conservation-program).
  • Take off one day of watering from irrigation schedules.
  • Water shrubs only if needed (soil moisture probes are available for free on the 3rd floor of City Hall).
  • Use a broom instead of a water hose to sweep up debris or clean driveways, sidewalks and steps.
  • Wash cars on the lawn and use a nozzle with a shutoff (available for free on the 3rd floor of City Hall) or use a commercial car wash, which recycles its water.

For years, the City has been working with water providers on the Clackamas River to ensure that residents have plenty of water to serve the community and maintain a healthy, natural environment. The City and other Clackamas River water providers will continue to monitor river levels to determine if further reduction measures or mandatory restrictions become necessary.

For more information on the water alert, the Water Management and Conservation Plan, or tips to easily reduce water use, including free water audits, please visit www.ci.oswego.or.us/publicworks/water-conservation-program.  For additional questions, please contact Kari Duncan, Manager - Water Treatment Plant, at 503-635-0393, or Kevin McCaleb, Water Conservation Specialist, at 503-675-3747.

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Published:  June 29, 2015