- The Tualatin River Basin in Washington County, Oregon, is a complex area with highly developed agricultural, forestry, industrial, commercial, and residential activities. Population has grown in the past thirty years from fifty to over 270 thousand. Accompanying this population growth have been the associated increases in transportation, construction, and recreational activities. Major improvements have occurred in treatment of wastewater discharges from communities and industries in the area. A surface water runoff management plan is in operation. Agricultural and forestry operations have adopted practices designed to reduce water quality impacts. In spite of efforts to-date, the standards required to protect appropriate beneficial uses of water have not been met in the slow-moving river.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality awarded a grant in 1992 to the Oregon Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI) at Oregon State University to review existing information on the Tualatin, organize that information so that it can be readily evaluated, develop a method to examine effectiveness, costs and benefits of alternative pollution abatement strategies, and allow for the evaluation of various scenarios proposed for water management in the Tualatin Basin. Faculty members from eight departments at Oregon State University and Portland State University are contributing to the project. Many local interests groups, industry, state and federal agencies are contributing to the understanding of water quality issues in the basin. This WRRI project is based on all these research, planning and management studies.
This publication is one in a series designed to make the results of this project available to interested persons and to promote useful discussions on issues and solutions. You are invited to share your insights and comments on these publications and on the process in which we are engaged. This will aid us in moving towards a better understanding of the complex relationships between people's needs, the natural environment in which they and their children will live, and the decisions that will be made on resource management.