Creating regional water supply connections
EWEB has supplied surplus water on a wholesale basis for several decades to surrounding water districts.
In 2013, EWEB also established a wholesale water service connection to the city of Veneta.
The State of Oregon Water Resources Department recommends that communities embrace a regional
water resource planning approach. Benefits include:
- Lowers costs for EWEB customers
Spreading the expense of obtaining, treating and delivering water across a wider base
of retail and wholesale customers can help reduce EWEB customers' costs and minimize
the magnitude of future rate increases.
- Secures water rights
Two of the three water rights EWEB holds on the McKenzie are perfected, giving EWEB senior rights
to 75.6 million gallons per day. The utility
must demonstrate to state water regulators that it can put the volume granted in
the third water right — an additional 118.2 million gallons per day — to beneficial use within a reasonable timeframe. Selling surplus
wholesale water helps EWEB more quickly obtain partial certification
of the third water right, which helps secure abundant water supply for future generations.
- Reduces costs for wholesale customers
Wholesale purchasers, such as the city of Veneta, are able to contain capital costs because they can
forego the expensive infrastructure and operational investments inherent in building and
maintaining treatment facilities.
Wholesale deliveries add up to about 9 percent of EWEB's total annual water sales. Projected water
usage for existing EWEB customers requires accessing only a small portion of the third McKenzie River
water right through 2050. The increased level of water use resulting from wholesale agreements
will allow EWEB to more quickly achieve partial certification of the
third water right.
EWEB has two different types of wholesale contracts:
- Firm water contracts
Written into each firm surplus water contract are provisions that EWEB will
provide water service to the water district under all supply conditions. EWEB provides the
sole water supply for firm water contract customers, which include the River
Road and Santa Clara Water Districts.
- Surplus water contracts
Written into the
contract are provisions outlining steps EWEB would take should a water shortage or drought occur.
In times of water shortage or drought, EWEB customers would have first priority to the water.
EWEB has surplus water contracts with Willamette Water Company in the Goshen area and the city
View water supply charts
illustrating the percentage of EWEB's water deliveries that go to wholesale customers. Also see
how much water EWEB diverts from the McKenzie River for treatment.
Safe drinking water is essential to public health and the economy. Managing the impact of
EWEB's water demand upon regional rivers maintains healthy ecosystems and Eugene's quality of life.