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We enhance public health and safety and contribute to the economic viability and livability of the Portland metropolitan region. We are a recognized leader among water service agencies across the country.
The Water Bureau has delivered drinking water from the forest to customers’ faucets since 1895. Portland’s high quality water comes primarily from the Bull Run Watershed, an unfiltered surface water supply with rainfall that generates a highly reliable source for the region with two reservoirs and a capacity of more than 200 million gallons per day. In addition, the bureau is fortunate to have a robust secondary source with the Columbia South Shore Well Field, which is another high quality source of water that serves to augment supply during summer months, allows the bureau to manage turbidity issues in the Bull Run watershed, and can meet the daily demand of the City on its own when necessary.
The bureau has over $8 billion in system assets, a proposed annual budget of $212 million and a projected five-year Capital Improvement Program budget of approximately $392 million. The utility is one of only a dozen or so utilities in the United States with a Aaa bond rating from Moody’s Investment Services, which is a reflection of the bureau’s responsible fiscal management that enables the bureau to benefit its ratepayers with low borrowing costs for its capital program.
The bureau is also recognized as a national leader in pioneering its model of asset management in the water utility industry. This method of prioritizing key maintenance, replacement, and construction needs helps maximize the impact of limited resources against the vast maintenance demands of a large water system. In addition, the bureau has a robust program that is very proactive in the protection of the natural environment that provides the region’s water, as well as mitigating the downstream impacts on fish habitat.
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