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Opportunities and Challenges of a Regional Water Supply

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The Cities of Lake Oswego and Tigard have initiated a comprehensive study to develop and evaluate options for the possible formation of a joint water supply system to serve the two communities. The opportunities created by the proposed joint water supply system include 1) the ability to ensure the long-term security and reliability of the region's Clackamas River water supply, 2) the ability to provide a reliable source of clean water to the City of Tigard from the Clackamas River, 3) the opportunity to optimize supply system costs and provide redundancy to maximize overall system reliability for both the City of Tigard and Lake Oswego. Potential challenges to implementing the proposed joint water supply system could include 1) the development of intergovernmental agreements between water suppliers, with the associated need for partnership and mutual trust between the Cities, 2) maintaining water rights on the Clackamas River, and 3) competing policy objectives.

A preliminary financial evaluation has been conducted which identifies that on a cost basis alone, the most viable option for Lake Oswego is to expand the existing infrastructure to convey the maximum demand to both Cities. Other viable alternatives also exist for the City of Tigard, which currently has a contract to obtain water from other providers in the area. However, the benefits of non-economic criteria (including political and social factors) may prove to outweigh any financial benefits associated with the pursuit of other water supply options. This paper will present the results of the supply analysis and discuss the final decision made by the two Cities.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-10-01

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