'Voluntary call to action' comes in response to below-normal levels on the Clackamas River

Lake Oswego has issued a Stage 1 alert in response to below-normal water levels on the Clackamas River and is urging residents to conserve and lower water use this summer.

“The City of Lake Oswego wants to be proactive and raise awareness by asking our customers to conserve water during the dry summer months,” says Kari Duncan, the city’s water treatment plant manager. “It’s important to monitor our usage this summer and reduce needless waste.”

Most of Oregon is experiencing moderate to severe drought conditions. Lake Oswego gets its water from the Clackamas River, where summer flows are sustained largely by creeks and streams that originate from aquifers. But Duncan says the river’s flow is currently below normal, prompting what she calls “a proactive, voluntary call to action.”

Some of Duncan’s tips to reduce usage:

• Adjust sprinklers so that they only water the lawn or plants that they are intended to water and not the streets, sidewalks and driveways.

• Keep a pitcher of tap water in the refrigerator, so it’s already cold.

• Only run full loads in your dishwasher or washing machine.

• Turn the water off when brushing teeth or shaving.

• Shorten shower times to five minutes (timers are available for free on the third floor of City Hall).

• Replace older toilets (rebates are available online at

• Take off one day of watering from irrigation schedules.

• Water shrubs only if needed (soil moisture probes are available for free on the third floor of City Hall).

• Use a broom instead of a water hose to sweep up debris or clean driveways, sidewalks and steps.

• Wash cars on the lawn and use a nozzle with a shutoff (available for free on the third floor of City Hall) or use a commercial car wash, which recycles its water.

Duncan says the city and other providers of water from the Clackamas River will continue to monitor river levels to determine if further reduction measures or mandatory restrictions become necessary.

For more information on the water alert or for tips to easily reduce water use, including free water audits, visit

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