The City of Bend has been proactive in the planning of long-term, sustainable water supplies for its water customers and has a diverse and resilient water supply portfolio.
Periods of drought occur regularly in Central Oregon. In general, records of the last 100 years show a drought cycle occurring about every 10 years in the Deschutes Basin. The impacts of these drought cycles are wide ranging and can affect water users in Central Oregon in different ways. Today and looking ahead, we know that a changing climate brings an even greater level of uncertainty with the latest research predicting more frequent and intense drought cycles, as well as potential loss of mid-elevation snowpack.
Bend water customers are fortunate to have two main sources of water supply. These include surface water from Bend Municipal Watershed and groundwater from Deschutes Regional Aquifer. These two key sources of water along with a commitment to water conservation and efficiency, and the growing use of recycled water (reclaimed and highly treated wastewater), have positioned the City well to continue to meet all residential, commercial and industrial needs during all water years – including drought years.
However, not everyone living in Bend is a Bend water customer. Private water utilities such as Avion and Roats, in addition to several irrigation districts, also provide water in and around our community. Customers of these water purveyors should check to see if there are water supply concerns related to drought.
Ultimately, we all have a responsibility to use water wisely regardless of the source.
Latest News - July 2, 2018
Normal irrigation regulations are in effect:
- No irrigation between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
- Even addresses are allowed to irrigate on even numbered calendar days
- Odd addresses allowed to irrigate on odd numbered calendar days
City of Bend Water System Overview and Map
This one page summary describes the City of Bend’s water sources and includes an illustrated water system “map” showing the general layout of the water distribution system.
City of Bend Drought Fact Sheet
This fact sheet covers that basics of what Bend water customers need to know about drought.
Additional Drought Information & Resources
- Oregon Water Resources Department - Water Conditions Report
The OWRD Water Conditions Report is updated weekly and includes a variety of statewide information related the water conditions of each basin.
- Oregon Water Resources Department – Drought Watch
The OWRD Drought Watch website contains statewide information relating to drought conditions, drought declarations, and other informational resources.
- US Bureau of Reclamation - Upper Deschutes Basin Study
The USBR Upper Deschutes Basin Study focuses on how the Deschutes Basin will perform in the face of changing water demands and a changing climate. The City of Bend is one of many water stakeholders involved in the study.
- US Geological Survey Groundwater Hydrology of the Upper Deschutes Basin
This USGS study focuses on the groundwater hydrology of the Upper Deschutes Basin and how the potential impacts of groundwater use impact affect flows.
- City of Bend WaterWiseTips.org - Ways to conserve water
The City offers a wide variety of water conservation information, resources and programs to help customers use less water.
- City of Bend Sustainability – What We’re Doing
Learn more about the City of Bend’s current sustainability efforts
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is the City of Bend going to be facing any water supply issues with drought conditions?
A: No. Due to our resilient water supply sources and inherent flexibility of them, the City does not anticipate any shortages in water supply, even in drought years. The City’s source of surface water, combined with peak season water supply from groundwater wells, combined with an emphasis on water conservation and its existing regulations, have positioned the City well heading into the future and the 2018 growing season. However, the City will continue to monitor water supply conditions closely and update this page regularly.
Q: Will the City impose any irrigation or watering restrictions as a result of a drought?
A: The City has not issued any additional mandatory water supply restrictions during past drought years, even in the record drought of 2015. However, there are existing irrigation regulations including designated even and odd irrigation days and irrigation hours (no irrigation between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.) that residents should be aware of. Information about water conservation, including designated irrigation days and hours, can be found at waterwisetips.org. These regulations help balance water demands of the water distribution system and prevent wasteful mid-day irrigation.
City staff work with regional partners such as irrigation districts, to help implement regional dry year plans agreed upon in Basin planning efforts as some irrigation districts are more dependent on stored water in upstream reservoirs and also those districts with junior water rights can be impacted.
Q: I live in the city but get my water from Avion or Roats. What does this mean for me?
A: Private water utilities like Avion and Roats have their own water supplies and may have different water use restrictions for their customers. Please check with your provider to see what restrictions, if any, they have in place.
Q: Where can I go to find more information on drought in Oregon?
A: The City has multiple useful links for those interested in learning more about drought. These links are located at bendoregon.gov/drought.