Update on the Tualatin Basin Water Supply Project
by Marilyn McWilliams, Tualatin Valley Water District (TVWD) Commissioner
Many people have been curious about the progress on the Hagg Lake Dam construction, formally called the Tualatin Basin Water Supply Project (TBWSP). Because of the earthquake hazard and the need to ensure the safety of the reservoir, the federal Bureau of Reclamation is doing a Corrective Action Alternative Study (CAAS) which will not be completed until the fall of 2011. The dam will cost more than originally projected and completion of the dam project will be delayed well past 2016.
In the meantime, we will still need an increased water supply in the Tualatin Valley. Each of the partners in the Joint Water Commission (TVWD, Beaverton, Forest Grove and Hillsboro) are reviewing their needs and demand for water and adjusting their plans for water supply. We need to move forward in a way that fits the needs of each partner and makes the most sense long-term.
TVWD's strategy has four components.
- Lease available excess stored water from our Joint Water Commission (JWC) partners.
- Expand the JWC water treatment plant to increase capacity.
- Accelerate our planned aquifer storage and recovery projects (underground storage of water in the winter to increase summer supply).
- Renew our Portland-TVWD water supply project with a reduced minimum purchase agreement.
Each of these steps will provide us more flexibility in water supply to carry us through to the completion of the Tualatin Basin Water Supply Project in the future. The water security and the economic future of the valley can be maintained as we wait for the new dam to be completed.
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