Lake Oswego calls on residents to save water

City issues a Stage 1 alert in hopes of minimizing issues from subpar water levels.

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The City of Lake Oswego issued a Stage 1 alert Monday in hopes of minimizing issues from subpar water levels.

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 [the city’s water treatment plant manager Kari] 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
  • 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.

(SOURCE: Portland Tribune)

Westfir had its state-ordered water restriction lifted after a month, according to the Register-Guard.

The city’s water right to draw from a fork of the Willamette River is junior to the right that preserves the river’s in-stream flow that primarily benefits fish. Under Oregon’s water law, the first individual or entity to obtain a water right is the last to be shut off in times of low water availability. Low winter snowpack and a lack of spring rains mean the area is in the grip of drought. And that meant that as the river dropped, the state told Westfir it could no longer draw river water for nonessential uses due to its junior water right.

But the watermaster, Michael Mattick, has reversed course and rescinded the order after city officials gathered evidence that Westfir held a long-forgotten water right that had been secured by the old mill almost a century ago, predating the water right established for the river’s fish.

The town is now under a voluntary water restriction.