Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Water shortage?

I guess my eyes weren't fooling me after all.  

The Clackamas River is running very low right now, and given that we won't get into our rainy season for another 4-5 months, the drought is here to stay.  How low will the water go, and what does our future look like with a "shared" water supply?  

And we haven't even begun to "share" our water yet.  Actually, share isn't the right term since we sold away our rights to our water.  Tigard now has control/ownership over some portion of our water, but I am not sure how the proportions work out in a drought condition.  

Will we have enough water for Lake Oswego residents and businesses who are here NOW?  

How can Lake Oswego responsibly approve more development when water security is not guaranteed for current citizens?   Putting more people and water users into the city is irresponsible.  

Should we start thinking of a moratorium on residential developments (particularly high-density)?  

The not-so-amusing thing about this mess is that the Hammerstad/Hoffman administrations sought and signed on to the deal to facilitate the development of Foothills and Stafford.  Any school child could predict what is happening now:  In summer, the river levels go down and there is less water available for fish and human use.  The Clackamas River is a finite resource and cannot support new development desired by politicians.  The LOTWP was a bad deal from the start and there were plenty of voices telling the powers-that-be to stop, but no one was listening.  

I hear people talk about the LOTWP purchasing water from Portland to make up for the water the Clackamas River can't provide.  This added expense can only be made up only one way - through our water rates. Don't they know how people struggle to pay their water bills now?  And now we pay more for Tigard's new citizens, and maybe ours?  This stinks.  

This is what blind ambition looks like.

Lake Oswego issues Stage 1 alert, urges residents to reduce water use

'Voluntary call to action' comes in response to below-normal levels on the Clackamas River

Lake Oswego has issued a Stage 1 alert in response to below-normal water levels on the Clackamas River and is urging residents to conserve and lower water use this summer.
“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, the city’s water treatment plant manager. “It’s important to monitor our usage this summer and reduce needless waste.”
Most of Oregon is experiencing moderate to severe drought conditions. Lake Oswego gets its water from the Clackamas River, where summer flows are sustained largely by creeks and streams that originate from aquifers. But Duncan says the river’s flow is currently below normal, prompting what she calls “a proactive, voluntary call to action.”
Some of Duncan’s 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 five minutes (timers are available for free on the third 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 third 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 third floor of City Hall) or use a commercial car wash, which recycles its water.
Duncan says the city and other providers of water from the Clackamas River will continue to monitor river levels to determine if further reduction measures or mandatory restrictions become necessary.
For more information on the water alert or for tips to easily reduce water use, including free water audits, visit www.ci.oswego.or.us/publicworks/water-conservation-program.

Lake Oswego asking residents to voluntarily conserve water

The Oregonian, June 29, 2015  By Brad Schmidt

The city of Lake Oswego this week will begin asking residents to voluntarily conserve water.

The unusual request comes amid sweltering June weather and lower-than-average stream flow along the Clackamas River.

But California this is not.

Officials are following protocols set back in 2008 and say no one needs to let their plants or grass die.

"It's voluntary," said Kari Duncan, who manages the city's water treatment plant. "We're hopeful we won't go into further curtailment."

This marks just the second time that Lake Oswego has implemented a voluntary, Stage 1, alert. The first alert, issued at least five years ago, was for mechanical reasons – not the weather.

Duncan said the Clackamas River's flow is now about 900 cubic feet per second, less than half the typical volume of 1,910. Lake Oswego takes its drinking water from the Clackamas River.

Lake Oswego will officially publicize the conservation request later this week. 

1 comment:

  1. The weather will be changing, perhaps as early as September as El Nino is on the way.