In the News

Agreement binds Wilsonville to water supply project

Wilsonville Spokesman (Wednesday, 14 January 2015, Written by Josh Kulla)

Wilsonville City Councilors unanimously voted Jan. 5 to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Tualatin Valley Water District and five metro area cities, a move that takes the city further down the road toward a new water treatment plant.

The agreement binds Wilsonville, the water district and the cities of Sherwood, Tualatin, Tigard, Beaverton and Hillsboro into a partnership that is aimed at producing a governance agreement by the end of 2016. The agreement would essentially spell out the details behind a future system of pipelines that would send Willamette River water from a new water treatment plant in Wilsonville to the participating cities.

“It’s adding time to our extended schedule and it’s paying for having the facilitator continue to work with us as we work on how to solve this really, really complex problem,” Wilsonville Community Development Director Nancy Kraushaar told Wilsonville City Councilors at their Jan. 5 meeting.

Continue reading Agreement binds Wilsonville to water supply project

Thank You to Open House Attendees

The Willamette Water Supply Program wishes to thank everyone who attended the recent  open houses. Your input is greatly appreciated!

More than 800 people attended the open house or participated in the online open house.  Participants said that coordinating pipeline construction with other improvement projects (like transportation projects) and utility work as the main benefit of the Project.  Construction impacts, particularly the potential for traffic congestion and impact on businesses and residents, was the primary concern expressed by attendees.

The input from the open houses is being used to help define the preferred pipeline route, coordinate construction with other agencies, and better plan for construction impacts. A preferred route for the project, from Wilsonville to Hillsboro and Beaverton, will be identified in 2015, with more public outreach planned for summer 2015.

Read the open house summary here.

 

Washington County’s long-term water needs on display at ‘virtual’ open house

Oregonlive.com  (November 27 | Written by Dana Tims)

The Willamette Water Supply Program is exploring options for future pipeline routes and is seeking public comment.

A series of open houses was held recently at various points in Washington County, but residents have until the end of the day Friday, Nov. 28, to participate in an online “virtual” open house. Visit’s the site’s webpage for full information.

Program officials hope to get as much information from residents as possible about future pipeline routes they say will be needed to meet water demands that are expected to double by 2050.

Continue reading Washington County’s long-term water needs on display at ‘virtual’ open house

Planning starts on new water pipeline routes

Hillsboro Tribune (Tuesday, 25 November 2014 11:24 | Written by Kathy Fuller)

‘Multi-generational’ project will bring water from Willamette River

A Nov. 20 open house in Hillsboro brought close to 100 citizens to peruse maps and potential pipeline routes for the Willamette Water Supply Project, a decade-long undertaking to bring Willamette River water to Hillsboro and the Tualatin Valley Water District (TVWD)

It was the final of six open houses highlighting potential pipeline routes from the Willamette River in Wilsonville to Hillsboro and Beaverton. The project began in 2012 as TVWD and Hillsboro city officials studied potential sources for an additional water supply to meet growing industrial and residential demand. The project is a multi-agency, multi-jurisdiction effort to provide a reliable water supply for the next 100 years.

Hillsboro studied four options, including buying water from Portland; the Tualatin Basin Water Supply Project that would raise Scoggins Dam on Hagg Lake; and a plan to develop ground wells near Scappoose. The mid-Willamette River water source was deemed the most viable option. Hillsboro’s water currently come from the Tualatin River, Hagg Lake and Barney Reservoir in the Coast Range.

Continue reading Planning starts on new water pipeline routes

Open house will dig into water pipeline routes

Hillsboro Tribune–(Friday, 14 November 2014,  Written by Doug Burkhardt)

The Hillsboro Water Department and Tualatin Valley Water District are hosting an open house regarding plans to develop an additional source of water from the Willamette River at Wilsonville.

The Willamette Water Supply Pipeline Project is part of a long-range plan to expand the capacity of the Willamette River Water Treatment Plant and add pipelines and storage reservoirs to serve Washington County communities. Several different pipeline route options are under consideration, although construction may not begin for several years.

The public is invited to an open house that will take place in Hillsboro Thursday, Nov. 20, at the Hillsboro Main Library, 2850 N.E. Brookwood Parkway, from 6 to 8 p.m. Citizens are encouraged to give their opinions on potential routes for the water transmission lines.

Continue reading Open house will dig into water pipeline routes

Hillsboro, other cities to hold open houses about Willamette Water Supply project

The Oregonian – OregonLive.com  (October 13, 2014 at 11:45 AM, updated October 13, 2014 at 11:46 AM / Written by Luke Hammill)

Local water officials have announced a series of October and November open houses in Wilsonville, Beaverton, Aloha, Sherwood and Hillsboro, where the public can learn more about the Willamette Water Supply Program.

The project – a joint effort between the city of Hillsboro and the Tualatin Valley Water District – seeks to develop the mid-Willamette River at Wilsonville as an additional water supply source in anticipation of population growth. Officials estimate that water needs in Washington County will double by 2050.

The Hillsboro Water Department says the Tualatin watershed will still be the city’s main source of water. But as planners expect to add tens of thousands of residents in areas like South Hillsboro, the Willamette project will provide a needed supplement, officials say.

Continue reading Hillsboro, other cities to hold open houses about Willamette Water Supply project

Water supply will be subject of open house

Hillsboro Tribune (Friday, 19 September 2014 01:00 | Written by Fuller, Kathy)

Washington County’s Department of Land Use & Transportation, Tualatin Valley Water District and Hillsboro Water invite the public to attend a project open house on Sept. 24 to learn more about the county’s 124th Avenue extension project and the Willamette Water Supply Program.

The event will be held at Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue’s Training Center, 12400 S.W. Tonquin Road, in Sherwood. The public is invited to drop in anytime between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. to learn more about both projects.

Continue reading Water supply will be subject of open house

Hillsboro turns to Willamette for future water

HILLSBORO, Ore. (KOIN) — Some Hillsboro residents could see their water bill go up in a few months if the Hillsboro Utility Commission votes to approve a proposed increase Tuesday.

“We’re making a decision today that makes sure Hillsboro has water 40 and 50 years from now,” said Kevin Hanway, director of the Hillsboro Water Department.

And city officials believe a rate hike is needed to ensure municipal water will be available in the future to Hillsboro homes.

Continue reading Hillsboro turns to Willamette for future water

Hillsboro’s trek to the Willamette River could begin soon, others to follow as suburbs plan for growth

OregonLive.com—Willamette River water may flow from faucets and sprinkler heads, fuel businesses and water fountains, and course through a maze of pipes to customers throughout Washington County.

The Hillsboro Utilities Commission will vote on a preferred secondary water source for Oregon’s fifth-largest city on Tuesday.

After a three-year study, the Willamette River near Wilsonville “clearly demonstrated” the best option to meet a water demand that city officials say will be necessary as soon as 2025, according to a staff report.

Continue reading Hillsboro’s trek to the Willamette River could begin soon, others to follow as suburbs plan for growth

Beaverton, Tigard and Tualatin eyeing Willamette River as future water source

By Nicole Friedman and Fenit Nirappil, Oregonian, August 30, 2013

A growing number of Washington County cities are eyeing the Willamette River as a future source of drinking water.The Tualatin Valley Water District and Hillsboro are planning to build a pipeline and water treatment plant to provide customers Willamette water by 2026. The first step is a two-year study that will lay out the details and costs for the project.

Now other cities are looking to join the study, as a way to explore their own Willamette water options at a discounted rate. This is a shift from early last decade, when water districts put restrictions on shifting to the Willamette, then a more uncertain and untested water supply.

Tigard and Tualatin officials agreed in July to help pay for the study. The Beaverton City Council will decide Sept. 10 whether to do the same.

Pitching in for the study doesn’t equate a decision to tap into the Willamette. By contributing to the planning costs, the cities would make sure their needs and concerns would be addressed in the study, which could better position them to become full partners on the project in the future.

Tualatin councilors were told in a July presentation that the study had a preliminary cost between $800,000 and $1 million. Todd Heidgerken, manager of community and intergovernmental relations for the Tualatin Valley Water District, would not confirm that estimate and said negotiations for a final price with engineering firm HDR Inc. are still under way.

Sherwood, Wilsonville, Clean Water Services, West Slope Water District and Raleigh Water District have not indicated interest in contributing to the study, Heidgerken said.

Here’s a closer look at each city’s role.

Beaverton

Contribution to study: Beaverton will recommend to its city council Sept. 10 that it should contribute “in the range of $100,000” to the Willamette study, said Beaverton Public Works Director Peter Arellano.

Current water supply: Nearly 80 percent of Beaverton residents use the city’s water supply from the Tualatin River and the Scoggins and Barney reservoirs. The rest buy water from the Tualatin Valley Water District, the West Slope Water District or the Raleigh Water District.

Water rights on the Willamette? No. If Beaverton joins the planning effort, the city would look into obtaining Willamette water rights, Arellano said.

Why the Willamette is a long-term option: Ideally, Beaverton should have multiple water supplies, in case the reservoirs do not fill or the Tualatin River supply is threatened, Arellano said.

Joining the planning would allow Beaverton to “basically get a place on the team, and to give us some time to analyze our options and needs and see if it’s the appropriate project for us,” he said.

Tigard

Contribution to study: The Tigard City Council approved spending up to $100,000, though an intergovernmental agreement has not been signed yet.

Current water supply:Bull Run Watershed water from Portland.

Water rights on the Willamette: Yes, but voter approval is required to use Willamette drinking water.

Why the Willamette is a long-term option: Tigard officials expect the city’s new water partnership with Lake Oswego to meet its water needs until the 2040.

“We may need to start saying the Clackamas River just cannot produce enough water for Tigard’s continued growth,” said Tigard Public Works Director Dennis Koellermeier.

Tualatin

Contribution to study: The Tualatin City Council approved spending up to $100,000, though an intergovernmental agreement has not been signed yet.

Current water supply: Bull Run Watershed water from Portland.

Water rights on the Willamette: Yes, but voter approval is required to use Willamette drinking water.

Why the Willamette is a long-term option: Tualatin’s relationship with the Portland Water Bureau has been growing increasingly tense, with fears of continuing rate increases as customers like Tigard and TVWD depart for new sources.

“We perceive the City of Portland as becoming less and less reliable as a water supplier,” said Councilor Ed Truax, who is outspoken on water issues, explaining why Tualatin is looking at other water sources.

Hillsboro and Tualatin Valley Water District

Contribution to study: Hillsboro and TVWD will pay the total cost, minus contributions from Tigard, Tualatin and maybe Beaverton.

Current water supply: Hillsboro uses a combination of Tualatin River, Henry Hagg Lake and Barney Reservoir water. TVWD gets water from the Joint Water Commission, the Portland Water Bureau and its own aquifer storage and recovery well.

Water rights on the Willamette: Yes, and TVWD eliminated a voter-approval requirement for use.

Why the Willamette is a long-term option: Hillsboro and TVWD agreed in February and April, respectively, to deliver Willamette water to their customers by 2026. Both jurisdictions expect that their current water supplies will not meet future demand.

Other projects: TVWD and Hillsboro are also getting started on designing a pipeline that would be installed as part of Washington County’s extension of Southwest 124th Avenue from Southwest Tualatin-Sherwood Road to Southwest Grahams Ferry Road.

No additional jurisdictions have signed on to that project, Heidgerken said. Tualatin agreed to provide technical assistance since the pipeline is in its city.

CORRECTION: Tigard authorized spending up to $100,000, not $50,000, to the study.