We enjoy a great benefit in our service area. The majority of the water supplied to our customers is drawn from the scenic Clackamas River, which is one of three river basins protected by law in the state of Oregon.
The right to take water from the Clackamas River is granted to water providers by the State Water Resources Department (WRD). Municipal water providers must plan to assure water is available for their customers into the future. Water right permits for water that is not currently being withdrawn and actively used have traditionally been renewed every five years by the WRD. Changes to the statutes in 2005 introduced additional requirements designed to be protective of endangered runs of fish, but failed to specifically define those requirements. Sunrise Water Authority and the other water right permit holders on the Clackamas River have been engaged in a highly contentious process to extend our water right permits since 2006. Environmental interests have litigated extensively, drastically increasing the cost of the process and leaving the outcome unknown at this time.
A source water assessment for that portion of the Clackamas River supplying drinking water to the agency was completed in 2003, which looked closely at the potential sources for contaminants in the river. Another, more recent study of the Clackamas focused on assessing the organic contaminants present in the water.
The majority of water from the Clackamas River delivered to customers is purchased from either Clackamas River Water
or the North Clackamas County Water Commission. Emergency water supplies can also be purchased from the South Fork Water Board