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During Emergency Preparedness Month, we start with water.

As wildfire smoke clears, people continue the long overdue fight for racial justice, and the pandemic continues to impact our lives, we acknowledge those who have made extraordinary contributions to our communities and those who have been most affected by these challenging times. Our deepest sympathies are with everyone who has been impacted by the events of this year.

As September Emergency Preparedness Month wraps up, we're reflecting on this historically challenging year and reaffirming why we use these times to refresh and revisit what it means to be prepared. 

But here’s one less thing to worry about: the Portland Water Bureau works around the clock to deliver your water without interruption, so that it flows to your homes and businesses every minute of every day. Emergency planning makes this possible. And it includes investing in and building a resilient water system.

It’s certainly no simple task. Building this system requires diligent planning, decades of hard work, and shared investment with the community. And through this work, we’re committed to making our water system one that will last for generations to come.

In this newsletter, we offer a snapshot of how preparedness drives everything that we do: how we plan for and respond to emergencies, the earthquake-ready projects we are working on, and ways that you and your family can be prepared. During Emergency Preparedness Month, we celebrate these stories and the people who build, improve and maintain the backbone of this amazing water system.

Let’s build a resilient future together. Let's start with water.



WATCH: When our neighbors in Welches needed drinking water, we joined our utility partners at PGE to set up a water distribution system for those without power.

READ: "Every year has a new challenge, but the Water Bureau is continually working behind the scenes to protect the Bull Run water supply..." Read how a combo of planning and protection prepare us for wildfire response.

READ: Water employee by day, superhero as needed. Read how Maile Uchida-Hershberger and her colleagues from our Sandy River Station facility helped fire crews as fires spread throughout the state.
At the Portland Water Bureau, every day is an exercise in preparedness, hardening the backbone of our water system and building storage that will last for generations. Learn more and sign up for Public Alerts and other helpful resources from our partners.
We're active members of the Oregon Water & Wastewater Response Network, which means we plan with and help other utilities when emergencies strike. Read more about the important work this group delivers for Oregon.


WATCH: There's more to this new and improved tank than meets the eye. Learn about how our Greenleaf Tank project will increase the amount of water available for firefighting and earthquake preparedness. 

READ: We've been working for decades to increase the number of our facilities that can withstand earthquakes--and we're replacing the old Washington Park reservoirs with a new seismically-reinforced underground reservoir to do just that. You have to check out the live cam.

READ: We've strengthened the reservoirs at Kelly Butte and Powell Butte to withstand earthquakes. The Washington Park Reservoir project adds to this slate. Now the Willamette River Crossing project will strengthen how water travels to Portland's west side.

READ: Beyond earthquake resilience, the Bull Run Treatment Projects will also enhance our water system, reduce future risks, and better protect our community. The new filtration facility will be built to withstand an earthquake and meet Oregon Resilience Plan goals, such as the ability to restore service within 24 hours of a major event.

READ: Shared community investment helps our region be prepared and plan ahead. Here's how your sewer/stormwater/water bill contributes to a resilient and ready region, including the everyday maintenance required to keep your water flowing.


Maybe you've been putting it off. Maybe you never knew how much water was enough. Now is the time; make today the day that you make your emergency kit happen! Hint: it starts with water.

WATCH: Listen to Darcelle XV. Even at work, you can be prepared. See where Darcelle XV stores their water in this pre-COVID video. 

WATCH: In the event of a natural disaster, water is one of the most important things to have on hand. At Tortilleria y Tienda de Leon's, "siempre almacenamos agua con nuestros productos frescos."

(No masks = pre-COVID content)


In case you missed it, an interesting read: Pro Publica published this multimedia story sharing how new climate maps point to a shifting U.S. climate. See what this looks like and learn more. 
For the past year, our team has operated a mini-filtration facility to study how different treatment options work. Testing shows filtration treatment will have significant health benefits. Read and watch how.

The City of Portland is committed to providing meaningful access. To request translation, interpretation, modifications, accommodations, or other auxiliary aids or services, contact 503-823-7432, Relay: 711.

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