Water Action

Take action for your river – at home, in your community, and at the Capitol


Turning toward the river

People floating on the Willamette River
Getting in the water is just as important as walking the halls of the Capitol. We're tabling at The Big Float 8! Come out and tell us why clean water and healthy watersheds are important to you.

Read More


How will you shape our water future?

It will take commitment from Oregonians across the state to preserve the water we depend on. Add your voice to Oregon's World Water Day campaign today.

Read More


Protecting clean water at home

Backyard Garden
The choices you make in your yard can make a big difference to the health of local streams, wildlife and our drinking water. Before you think about spraying weed killer or reseeding your lawn this fall, consider these tips for a low-maintenance landscape.

Read More


Tiny Plants with a Toxic Punch

Summer is here and it's time to jump in the water - but wait - what's that pea-green scum floating on the surface? A harmful algae bloom.

Read More


Graywater Gardens + Smarter Water Use

Almost half the people on our planet do not have water piped into their homes. They have to go find their daily supply and carry it back for drinking, washing and bathing. If Oregonians had to do that, we might find ways to use a lot less than our current average 52 gallons (416 pounds!) per day.As it stands, our city water systems do a great job of delivering a seemingly abundant supply of water to our faucets and showerheads. But, guess what? In parts of Oregon, wells and streams are going dry, and people have been promised more water than nature can provide. Even in ...

Read More


How does salt affect our rivers? Eco alternatives for winter ice

Parts of Oregon are celebrating and others are cursing the unusual onslaught of snow across the state this winter. The deeper snow pack could mean more ...

Read More


Greywater: The Secret to Gardening During Drought

Guest Article by Molly DanielssonIt’s gardening season, time to water home-grown cucumbers and melons. Despite a cool July, much of Oregon is experiencing drought. Several streams are approaching record lows for this time of year. What’s a conscientious gardener to do? Rain barrels can collect rainwater from roofs for the garden (and EMSWCD can help hook you up), but here in Oregon rain is often lacking when we need it the most.Luckily there’s already a consistent source of water available in your house: greywater. Greywater is the used water from sinks, ...

Read More


Harmful algae: Creature from the blecch lagoon

It’s swimming hole, river float and dog beach season! Do you know how to spot algae that can make you sick and can be deadly to dogs?The creature from the blecch lagoon is not very big—but it’s ugly and scary. You’ll know the monster by its foamy, scummy or thick appearance on the surface of water, turning the water pea-green or brown-green. It's a harmful algae bloom.There have been a couple of documented sightings in Oregon already in the summer of 2016. But just because nobody has reported the algae doesn’t mean the scum you see in the water is ...

Read More


Weird ways to save water in Oregon

It's shaping up to be a dry one out there, and it is leading to some weirdness: kitten abundance, succulent swiping and...Bigfoot?  Treating water as precious is always a good idea, but in a year when Oregon has 90% less snow pack to refresh our rivers, it's time to get creative about saving.If you're already using low-flow everything, consider this:Most Americans use 70 gallons of water a day. The average Gambian uses about 1 gallon a day. We'd all be better off if we each stuck closer to 13 gallons a day. (Pacific Institute) Test yourself: How many of ...

Read More


Reduce your Runoff with a Rain Garden

Homeowners can reduce their own contribution to urban runoff by installing a rain garden or rain barrel. A rain garden is a shallow, landscaped depression where you can direct runoff from your roof, driveway and other hard surfaces on your property, allowing water to soak into the ground naturally rather than running off into storm drains. Rain gardens can be both a visual pleasure and a boon the environment, when planted with beautiful, hardy, low-maintenance and drought tolerant plants. Rain gardens also provide a natural home and food for birds, butterflies and ...

Read More