Source of Beaverton's Water Supply
About 85% of Beaverton's water originates from the Barney Reservoir (in the Coast Range) and Hagg Lake (just outside Forest Grove). The remaining 15% of Beaverton water customers are supplied through the Tualatin Valley Water District (TVWD) (from Portland’s Bull Run Reservoir on Mt. Hood).
The city is a member of the Joint Water Commission (JWC), an intergovernmental group whose members include Beaverton, Hillsboro, Forest Grove, and the TVWD. The JWC was formed to store, manage and treat water for its customers. As a resident of Beaverton, your water is supplied primarily by the JWC. The sources of JWC water are the Tualatin and Trask River watersheds in the Coast Range.
In the winter and spring when ample stream flow is available, the city uses its natural streamflow water right to obtain water from the Tualatin River. Raw water is pumped from the nearby Tualatin River to the JWC treatment plant (located south of Forest Grove). The treatment plant filters and treats the water so it meets federal drinking water standards.
Be Water Wise... Make Every Drop Count
Our water system provides abundant high quality water throughout the year. Forest rains keep reservoirs full until summer. And in summer, we use our stored reserves until the rains come again in the fall.
Usually that’s enough. But a long, hot, dry summer can strain our reserves, as was the case in 2001. We need your help to make sure the water lasts as long as the summer. Mostly, we need to be careful in our yards. That’s where we waste the water in summer.
Did you know?
Nearly 97% of the world’s water is salty or otherwise undrinkable. Another 2% is locked up in ice caps and glaciers. That leaves just 1% for all of humanity’s needs - for all its agricultural, manufacturing, community, and personal household needs.
Footprints on your lawn. When you walk on your lawn, do you leave footprints behind? That’s a sign that the grass needs water. It’s too dry to spring back when you walk on it.
Save water by...
- Mulching around trees and plants. This slows evaporation and discourages weeds.
- Adjusting your lawn mower to a higher setting. Longer grass blades shade each other and the ground - holding moisture in.
- Washing your car with a bucket and a sponge. Don’t let the hose run while washing your car. Use a hose with a shut-off nozzle to rinse.
What to water...
- If it doesn’t grow, don’t water it. Position sprinklers so water doesn’t land on the sidewalk or any paved areas.
- Know what your plants need. Not all shrubs and trees need the same amount of water. To be sure, check with your nursery.
How to water your lawn...
- Water early, water deep. Your lawn gets more water if you water early (before 10 a.m.) because less evaporates. Your lawn prefers a weekly watering (1 inch) to the daily sprinkle. Makes for a better root system. After heavy rains, you won’t need to water for 10 to 14 days.
- Most lawns need about an inch of water per week. If it’s hot - an inch every three days. Remember the tuna can. Place an empty tuna can on your lawn while watering. When the can is full, turn the water off.
- Prevent over-watering by setting a kitchen timer... or investing in a sprinkler timer to help. Outdoor faucets can flow at rates as high as 300 gallons per hour.
- Don’t water on windy days. Water will go everywhere except where it is needed.
When to water...
- Only water your lawn when it begins to show various signs of stress. Some of these signs include, duller than normal foliage, leaf blades that are beginning to roll, and grass that does not spring back when walked on.
- Water your lawn and garden in the evening or early in the morning to reduce evaporation.
Use some mulch...
Mulching helps prevent the soil from drying, decreases weed growth, adds nutrients to the soil, and reduces erosion.
A quick mulching tip...
Add two to four inches of mulch, bark or peat moss around trees, shrubs, and perennials.
Use native plants...
Native plants like Sword Fern (Polystichum munitum), Currant (Ribes sanguineum), and Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia) will flourish in a water wise landscape.
Like most new additions to your landscape, native plants need to be watered regularly for the first year or two, but once established, native plants only need to be watered during long dry spells.
A "water wise" landscape design tip...
Take notice of your yard, such as where there is the most shade and where it is dry. Different plants have different needs. Group plants with similar needs together.
Maintaining your landscape...
To keep your landscape looking its best keep up on fertilizer, weed and pest control. Aerate lawns annually to make sure the roots are getting the correct amount of water.