Every Drop Counts

Port of Portland operations depend on waterways, so protecting water quality and reducing water use helps conserve this precious natural resource.

Port landscaping uses native plants that are a good fit for the Pacific Northwest climate and therefore require less frequent watering. When irrigation is needed, the Port often uses non-potable well water and drip systems, which at one site, have already proven to reduce water use by up to 57 percent. At two Port industrial parks, irrigation control systems use real-time weather data to determine if watering is necessary, reducing water use by 30 percent.  A similar system is in place for much of the landscaping around Portland international Airport. Regular systems audits help keep the Port on track, and continuously identifying ways to save more water.

Indoors, at Portland International Airport there are approximately 400 toilets. With each toilet averaging about 200 flushes per day, that adds up to 80,000 flushes daily. Water-saving flush valves can use as little as one gallon per flush. The valves have saved the Port about 177,000 gallons each day — enough to fill 3,540 average-sized bathtubs!

Just outside of the terminal at PDX, the Quick Turnaround facility helps returned rental cars get cleaned up and back out on the road. Water audits identified it as the airport’s largest water user. The Port worked with rental car companies to develop water conservation actions that reduced water use by 49 percent per vehicle and provided a gross savings of $41,000 in water and sewer billings over a six month period.

Dorothy Sperry, Environmental Affairs Manager, 503.415.6642

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Environmental Programs