Watershed Resiliency

One of the goals of the Clackamas River Water Providers is to better understand local impacts of climate change on water quality and quantity in the region. It is also to identify climate mitigation and adaption strategies that will help ensure a more resilient watershed and drinking water source for CRWP members.


Clackamas Watershed Resiliency Project

In 2018 the CRWP worked with Portland State University faculty and graduate students and the Institute of Sustainable Solutions (ISS) on a multi-year project aimed to provide water resource stakeholders in the Clackamas River watershed with guidance for managing resilience in the face of climate change. Phase I of this project was to establish a baseline of historical trends in the Clackamas River watershed relevant to climate change and identify issues pertinent to stakeholders in the context of climate change (e.g., diminished summer water supply, water quality degradation resulting from urban development and intense rainfall, etc.). Phase II of this project sought to continue that research with two objectives: (1) Applied Climate Science, (2) Climate Adaptation Planning. The goal of the Clackamas Watershed Resilience project was to help the CRWP understand local impacts of climate change on water quality and quantity in the region; and develop strategies to sustain a healthy, reliable water source. To see the results from this research go to   https://sites.google.com/a/pdx.edu/maxnp/research/Clackamas-watershed

ODFW Beaver State Podcast
Episode 71: Water Part I – The Clackamas Watershed (October 2021)

Oregon’s rivers, streams, and aquifers support a wide range of benefits for both humans and the environment—sources of water for drinking, agriculture, recreation, and essential habitat for fish and wildlife. A clean and reliable source of water is critical for meeting Oregonian’s basic needs and for supporting Oregon’s economy, but it all hangs under the shadow of climate change. In this episode, we talk to ODFW’s Ben Walczak, Clackamas River Water Provider’s Kim Swan and PGE’s Nick Ackerman about a partnership to tackle the impacts of drought.   To hear the podcast click here https://myodfw.com/articles/episode_71_water_part_1_Clackamas_watershed

The CRWP’s Work with EPA’s Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT)

CREAT is a tool that assists water sector utilities in assessing climate-related risks to utility assets and operations. See the Clackamas River Water Provider Case Study here CRWP CREAT Exercise_Case Study

Climate Mapping Tools (visualize the change)

 Find Conditions for Clackamas, OR (Clackamas County) from the National Integrated Drought Information System https://www.drought.gov/location/Clackamas,%20Oregon and sign up for alerts when conditions change.

The Climate Toolbox
A collection of web tools for visualizing past and projected climate and hydrology of the contiguous United States https://climatetoolbox.org/

Climate at a Glance mapping tool https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/county/mapping

EPA CREAT Climate Scenarios Projection Map
This map provides easy-to-access scenario-based climate change projections drawn from CREAT. The impacts from a changing climate, including extreme heat and more intense storms, present challenges to water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities and the communities they serve.

Creating Resilient Water Utilities Streamflow Projections Map
This story map provides easy-to-access projections of possible changes in flow conditions for U.S. streams and rivers under a range of future environmental conditions

Climate Mapping for Resilience and Adaptation
Climate Mapping for Resilience and Adaptation (CMRA) integrates information from across the federal government to help people consider their local exposure to climate-related hazards.

Other Resources to Learn About Climate Change Impacts

Climate Impacts Group
The Climate Impacts Group is widely recognized for scientific discovery, as an experienced creator of impartial & actionable science and as a catalyst for building regional climate resilience https://cig.uw.edu/  

Water Utility Climate Alliance
The Water Utility Climate Alliance (WUCA) advances climate change adaptation, planning, and decision-making to ensure that water utilities, and the communities they serve, can thrive in the face of these emerging challenges https://www.wucaonline.org/

US Climate Resilience Toolkit
Meeting the Challenges of a Changing Climate. Learn about potential climate hazards so you can protection your vulnerable assets  https://toolkit.climate.gov/

Scientific Journals about climate change in the Pacific Northwest and the Clackamas River

Dramatic declines in snowpack in the western US (2018) click here.

Uncertainty assessment of climate change impacts for hydrologically distinct river basins (2012) click here.

Hydrologic impacts of climate change in the Upper Clackamas River Basin, Oregon, USA (2007) click here.

An assessment of the impact of climate change on the upper Clackamas River basin with a distributed hydrologic model (2005) click here.

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Watershed Protection

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Watershed Programs

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Watershed Tours

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What’s a Watershed?