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Thermal Loading Offsets

Project #: 15843  –   Updated: April 22, 2011

Project Summary

Clean Water Services (CWS) is an independent special services district in Northwestern Oregon, operating in wastewater and storm water management, among other functions. In order to mitigate in-stream temperature increases produced by wastewater treatment, CWS invests in landscape projects that cool stream water. This project is now serving as a model for other cities in Oregon, such as Ashland, that are looking for alternatives to mechanically cooling treated effluent.

Participants: 93% of the watershed is privately owned, much of that being in farmland. Payments are a large incentive f...

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Location (by county):
Washington County (OR), Multnomah County (OR)

Watersheds:
Tualatin, Lower Willamette

Congressional Districts:
OR District 01

Bird Conservation Regions:
Northern Pacific Rainforest

USFWS Regions:
Pacific Region

Public Access

Site Name Publicly Accessible
Tualatin SWCD Office Yes
CWS Administrative Building Yes
West Multnomah SWCD Office Yes
CWS Treatment Facility Yes
CWS Forest Grove Treatment Plant Yes

Full Project Description

Clean Water Services (CWS) is an independent special services district in Northwestern Oregon, operating in wastewater and storm water management, among other functions. In order to mitigate in-stream temperature increases produced by wastewater treatment, CWS invests in landscape projects that cool stream water. This project is now serving as a model for other cities in Oregon, such as Ashland, that are looking for alternatives to mechanically cooling treated effluent.

Participants: 93% of the watershed is privately owned, much of that being in farmland. Payments are a large incentive for participation.

Other Stakeholders: CWS manages the program and provides funding to the landowners. The district also carries out monitoring to ensure compliance with temperature limits, including assessing canopy cover and biodiversity. Tualatin and West Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation Districts carries out a large majority of the planning and planting of riparian vegetation.

Program Structure: Payments are made on a 5-year permit cycle, when impact is reassessed. Landowners receive one-time cash payments that reflect land value, preparation, plants, and maintenance of riparian buffer vegetation.

Goals and Targets

Primary motivations:

Conservation Mission
To preserve land and habitat in the watershed
Financial Incentive
To compensate landowners for land management changes
Mitigation
TMDL for temperature

Primary goals:

To provide incentive for landowners to protect the services that watersheds provide. Water temperature is targeted by enhancing riparian vegetation to shade streams.
Progress:

Please refer to the primary contact, supplementary materials, or the project website.

Targeted habitats:

    • Aquatic
      • Rivers and Streams
    • Forests and Woodlands
    • Human Habitats
      • Agriculture
        • Cultivated Crops
        • Old Field, Abandoned Cropland or Recent Clearcuts
        • Pasture / Hay
    • Wetlands and Riparian Habitats
      • Lowland Riparian Forests and Shrublands

Targeted species were not provided for this project.

Actions

Project Actions
Plant native riparian, wetland or aquatic vegetation Show/Hide details
Create or maintain aquatic habitat buffers Show/Hide details

Assistance

Direct Funding
Oregon Water Trust (Foundation) Show/Hide details
Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) (State Government) Show/Hide details
Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) (State Government) Show/Hide details
Tualatin SWCD (Local Government) Show/Hide details
West Multnomah SWCD (Local Government) Show/Hide details

Outcomes

Is the success of this project's actions being monitored?   No/Unknown

What lessons have been learned and/or what suggestions do you have for similar activities?

Benefits: Over the first five years of the crediting program, CWS reduced their net thermal loading to 0 kcal. Ancillary benefits include erosion prevention, carbon sequestration, runoff filtering, and habitat expansion.

Challenges: Landowners are reluctant to give up any rights to the land.

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Organization

Clean Water Services (CWS)
(Public Utility)

Primary Contact

Bartholomew (Mac) Martin  (Water Resources Analyst)
Clean Water Services
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Project Photos

Photos were not provided.

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