want clean, sparkling water throughout the city.
Many people like that Portland sets an example for
low-impact storm water management and they often appreciate
the taste of Portland’s tap water. However, many expressed
concerns over the cleanliness of water from our rivers,
streams and occasionally tap water in residents’ homes.
People think that clean, quality water should be available
to all, and that the City government should ensure that
drinkable water is affordable. Portlanders also believe
that policies should better regulate clean water.
Many Portlanders would like to see water protected
as a valuable resource by supporting programs that encourage
wide reuse of water, including rainwater catchment and
grey water systems. They recognize that if Portland
had clean water in its rivers and streams, it would
lead to more opportunities for local water recreation
and enable fish and wildlife to flourish. Many people
express their hopes that natural springs and streams
that have been paved over can be restored, enabling
water to flow more freely through the city.
water in Portland is a valuable resource for all.
the future, the rivers and water sources should be
cleaner and more accessible.
- More water should be allowed
to run through the city and in parks.
- Portland should implement
even more sustainable water practices.
- Household water should
be more affordable.
water in Portland is a valuable resource for
- Tap water is often drinkable and tastes
clean, especially compared with the water
in other cities.
- Portlanders identify the Columbia and Willamette
rivers as integral parts of the city, valuing
their proximity and their availability for
a wide array of uses.
- Some view water as a valuable resource that
can be further utilized on a local level through
expanding sustainable practices such as rainwater
- People like the reservoirs for their historical
significance and for their enhancement of
the city's topography.
- Respondents appreciate the fact that we
have an adequate water supply.
value that] Portland is a big city based
in a water-rich ecosystem, forested by
love the water and bridges. Water is the
soul of the city, wisdom of the city.
Bridges are the city’s veins, city’s energy.
More water, more bridges can make the
city more beautiful."
value] water quality and taste; abundance
for the veggie garden, edible flowers—our
wood fired hot tub is filled with rainwater,
then we water our plants.”
the future, the rivers and water sources should
be cleaner and more accessible.
- Numerous people requested that our waterways,
in particular, the Willamette River, be cleaned
- Quality water should be equally distributed
among neighborhoods and available to everyone
for drinking and irrigation.
- Of those who wanted to see cleaner rivers,
most people expressed an interest in sweeping
policy shifts to enforce clean water practices.
- Some Portlanders wish to see clean water
policies directed at industries located
near our rivers and water sources, as
well as companies that use local water
ways for the transportation of goods.
- There should be a regional approach to cleaning
the local rivers, rather than relying on the
- Fish and wildlife restoration efforts should
be incorporated into efforts to clean rivers.
- Cleaner rivers should allow for more recreational
and even commuting opportunities, including:
- Swimming (for people and pets);
- Water-based public transportation (small
passenger ferries or river taxis that
connect separate parts of the city); and
- More public access to both the Willamette
(East and West) and Columbia Rivers.
- Some believe that views of the river should
not be blocked by high-rise development or
industrial activity along the river.
For more information on water pollution, view
should boast to other cities how we have
wild trout and salmon in our urban streams…”
like to see cleaner rivers—the Willamette
is an aberration on this clean city and
frankly a real embarrassment…”
most want a healthy Columbia Slough, a
clean Willamette, and drinking water that
doesn’t taste like chlorine or come with
suspicions that the Columbia River groundwater
is being mixed with Bull Run water.”
- Consider European-style development
options along the waterfront.
- More benefits for non-motorized boats on
the Willamette by providing more places to
keep such boats; designate "no wake zones"
for only non-motor boat use.
- Create stricter laws to regulate sewage
spills and other forms of water pollution.
- “Take the reins away from the federal government
and spearhead a directed initiative between
Washington, Oregon and the various cities
located on both the Columbia and Willamette
rivers for a true and comprehensive clean-up.”
water should be allowed to run through the
city and in parks.
- People want to see more of the city’s original
waterways surfaced and brought into public
view, and for streams and creeks that
have been paved over to be released and woven
back into the urban topography.
- Put stormwater in parks as surface water
displays for people to enjoy.
would like to see] stream/creek release—getting
surface water back up on land in many
places throughout the city.”
should implement even more sustainable water
- Portlanders think more could be done to
conserve water and advocate for public education
around water storage and conservation options.
- Some people advocate for small-scale, neighborhood-based
stormwater management options, including rainwater
use and water catchment systems.
- Water conservation measures can be enforced
by fining homeowners and businesses for overuse
of water during seasonal dry spells.
- People support the Big Pipe and other efforts
to eliminate sewage overflow into the river.
- Respondents would like to see tax credits
for those who implement rain water collection
- Provide incentives for people to
conserve water use.
- Reduce inefficiency at the Portland Water
water should be more affordable.
- Some respondents express concern over high
city water bills (see Government: Utilities).
- Some people request that the Water Bureau
reduce water costs and bills.
our water/sewer bill and property taxes
we will probably have to move out of Portland
when we retire. That makes me very sad.”