Council Purpose

A small group of agency and government representatives began meeting in 1993 to discuss formation of a watershed council because they recognized the need to minimize watershed impacts and develop local solutions in a comprehensive manner. The Tualatin River Watershed Council was formed in 1996 to provide coordinated and integrated resource planning for the Tualatin River Watershed.  Its purpose is to:

  • Increase local input in management of watershed resources.
  • Initiate resolution of problems and issues within the watershed.
  • Identify problems and issues of importance to local citizens, groups, and users of the watershed.
  • Diminish and eliminate further degradation of the watershed and its resources through better management practices.
  • Increase the viability, diversity, and health of the watershed.
  • Undertake a proactive approach in management of the watershed.
  • Create and implement a watershed action plan encompassing, but not limited to current and potential problems and issues, potential solutions, restoration/ enhancement measures, and monitoring programs within the Tualatin River Watershed.

The Council is not a regulatory or enforcement agency. Instead, it makes recommendations to decision-makers and managers on ways to protect and restore Tualatin River resources. The Council strives to provide a framework for coordination and cooperation and uses consensus as its decision-making process. The 20+ stakeholder Council represents key interests and stakeholders in the watershed, ensuring a comprehensive look at watershed issues. Council partners also regularly communicate with other groups and individuals, forming an even broader network of watershed stakeholders

Washington County Population Growth

Washington County Population Growth

As one of the fastest growing regions in the state, the Tualatin River Watershed confronts tremendous growth and development pressures. With forecasts of 500,000 additional people living in the Metro region (including the Tualatin Basin) in the next twenty years, the need to protect our water resources is critical. The Tualatin River Watershed faces challenges including high density development; conversion of productive farmland; increased flooding and encroachment on floodplains; intense agriculture and forestry uses; increased demands for water and sewer services; reduction of wetland, riparian areas, and fish and wildlife habitat; and pollution of its waterways.

In 1988 the Department of Environmental Quality designated the Tualatin River and its tributaries as “Water Quality Limited.” Forestry, agricultural, and urban interests are working hard to meet the Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs). Continuing rapid urbanization of basin lands and competing demands for agricultural, forestry, industrial, and recreational uses of surface waters add to the complexity of the river’s needs. The wide variety of land uses throughout the watershed has a significant impact on water quality and quantity, which must be addressed in a comprehensive manner.

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