Let’s start with the obvious: You literally cannot live without water. Your body could make it about three days without water before it would stop functioning. Not only is water essential for life, it’s also essential for many things in life that we enjoy – from a morning coffee at Symposium Coffee to a craft beer at Cooper Mountain Ale Works.
Clean, safe, drinking water is not a guarantee for every community. Some places (like Flint, Michigan) struggle with water quality challenges, while others (like Miami, Florida) struggle to find stable water sources to serve future generations.
I am grateful that we do not have those challenges in Tigard. Almost 15 years ago, we partnered with the City of Lake Oswego to secure a long-term water supply. It was the largest public works project for both cities. There were many projects within the much larger project, including a 38-million-gallon water treatment plant, a new intake on the Clackamas River, 10 miles of new transmission line, a new 3.5-million-gallon reservoir, and a water pump station in Tigard.
I was involved in early discussions about funding this project as a citizen member of the Tigard Budget Committee. I experienced both communities worked together to make this vision a reality. This work ultimately led to a new water source that provides safe, clean, dependable drinking water to more than 100,000 residential and business customers in Tigard, Lake Oswego, Durham, and King City.
We will celebrate the five-year anniversary of the Lake Oswego-Tigard water system this month. Some in our community also know that June 9 is Water Independence Day, marking the first time in our history that we owned and controlled our own water supply, no longer needing to purchase water as a wholesale customer of the City of Portland.
As we celebrate the five-year anniversary, I want to share a few ways that you benefit from the Lake Oswego-Tigard water system:
- Guaranteed access to water from a supply we own.
- Predictable and affordable water costs.
- Improved water quality.
- A treatment plant that eliminates emerging pathogens and viruses, including COVID-19, from the water supply.
- Water capacity that can support business and industry growth in the future.
- Regional water source connections that provide backup in case of emergency.
- A resilient water system that was built to remain functional even after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake.
So, join me in raising a glass of water (or your favorite water-based beverage) to celebrate the five-year anniversary of the Lake Oswego-Tigard water system at the next virtual Fireside Chat on Thursday, June 3, at 6:30 p.m.
Jason Snider, Mayor