On this page:
More about clean water:
Why water conservation is important:
Water is a cup of coffee; it’s a piece of paper; it’s the cells in your body – it is truly precious.
Wells, springs, marshes, lakes, rivers, snow, and rain make up a single, essential resource that is woven into every aspect of our lives.
- Not-so-fun fact:
Water is a renewable resourceA natural resource that can be used repeatedly and does not run out because it is naturally replaced and replenished. that can be used indefinitely as it is recycled through a system over and over again – but human actions are degrading it over time.
Water conservation is more important than ever, due to increasing strain from growing populations.
A changing climate adds additional pressure as it impacts weather patterns that control the amount of water going underground and into our rivers. Some places experience severe drought, while others are saturated by deadly floods.
- Fun fact:
Unlike other nearby rivers that are fed by snowmelt, the Tualatin River is sourced from rainwater.
River flow is highest in the wet winter and spring months and is lowest during the hot summer season, when we need it most for agriculture and keeping cool. Using water wisely is important year-round, but is especially important when river flow is low and demand is high.
Tips for conserving water around your home:
- Use rainwater
Create a rain garden or install a rain barrel to collect rainwater.Watch How to Build a Rain Garden
- Use native plants
Landscape with native and drought-tolerant plants that can thrive without extra watering.Native Plants
- Retain water
Improve soil water retention by adding compost or peat moss to your garden bed.
- Cover your soil
Cover garden beds with thick layers of mulch to slow evaporation and cool roots.
- Broom clean
Use a broom to sweep off driveways and patios instead of hosing them down.
- Reduce daily use
Install water-efficient shower heads, toilets, and appliances to reduce daily water use.
- Maximize absorption
Aerate your lawn annually to increase its ability to absorb water and nutrients.
Tips for conserving water on your farm:
- Irrigation efficiency
Choose high-efficiency irrigation equipment such as drip irrigation.
- Curb your evaporation
Run sprinklers in the early morning or evening to curb evaporation.
- Use sensors
Install moisture sensors to monitor soil saturation and only irrigate when needed.
- Crop choice
Grow drought-tolerant crops.
- Use conservation methods
Employ cover crops, no-till farming, and other methods to bolster soil structure and its ability to hold water.Soil Health
Interested in observing Tualatin River flow rate over time? The U.S. Geological Survey monitors river flow year-round.
The Regional Water Providers Consortium provides multiple online tools for measuring your water use and finding simple ways to use water more efficiently.
Area planners are preparing to meet the water needs of a larger and busier Washington County. Projects to improve the resilience of Scoggins Dam and construction of additional water treatment plants are underway.
Oregon’s Water Resources Department hosts information regarding water rights, well testing, dam construction, and funding opportunities.