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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. 

Road project could give Hillsboro and Tualatin Valley Water District head start on pipeline to Willamette River

By Andrew Theen  The Oregonian/OregonLive   (May 14, 2013)

Water District’s joint plan to build a pipeline to the Willamette River is already gaining momentum.

The city and TVWD, Oregon’s second-largest water provider, formally designated the Willamette River near Wilsonville as the secondary water source of the future at meetings in February and April respectively.

Hillsboro uses a combination of Tualatin River, Henry Hagg Lake and Barney Reservoir water currently, but demand is expected to outpace supply, and the city says a secondary source is needed by 2026.

Continue reading Road project could give Hillsboro and Tualatin Valley Water District head start on pipeline to Willamette River

Tualatin Valley Water District selects Willamette River as future water source

OregonLive.com—The Tualatin Valley Water District voted 4-0 Wednesday to tap the Willamette River as the district’s need for water grows in the next 30 years and beyond.

The district will partner with Hillsboro, which voted in February to adopt the same long-term strategy for water supply.

The two agencies plan to build a water treatment plant in Wilsonville and a pipeline to transport the water to Washington County.

The plan could be implemented by 2025. The Tualatin Valley Water District expects its portion of the cost to be $408.3 million.

Continue reading Tualatin Valley Water District selects Willamette River as future water source

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

In fewer than 20 years, 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.

The majority of Oregon’s residents live within 20 miles of the Willamette, the 13th largest river by volume in the lower 48 states.

More than a decade after Wilsonville opened what was then a controversial plant to tap the mighty river, there is little resistance from environmental advocates or the populace as the suburb plans for the future.

Hillsboro doesn’t have water rights on the river but it does have connections, Water Department Director Kevin Hanway said.

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