Community Partner

Clackamas River Water Providers

First Advisor

Max Nielsen-Pincus

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Environmental Management (MEM)


Environmental Science and Management




Water conservation -- Study and teaching -- Oregon -- Clackamas River Water (Water district), Water conservation -- Oregon -- Clackamas River Watershed -- Public opinion, Water consumption -- Oregon -- Clackamas River Watershed -- Public opinion, Political ecology, Conservation of natural resources -- Study and teaching -- Oregon -- Clackamas River Watershed, Water-supply -- Oregon -- Management




The Clackamas River in Oregon is a drinking water source for upwards of 300,000 people living in the Portland metro region. This river experiences seasonal low flow during the annual dry season throughout summer and early fall when endangered salmon species return to the river to spawn. This dry season also coincides with the highest period of urban water use. Since precipitation is minimal at this time, water users choose to water their lawns to make up for the lack of rain which contributes to water use tripling during the driest part of the year. To promote local water conservation, the Clackamas River Water Providers (CRWP)--who manage source water protection and public outreach and education around watershed issues, drinking water, and water conservation for the eight water providers on the river--have created a water conservation campaign that they intend to promote each dry season for the next several years. First promoted during the dry season of 2019, the messaging focuses on the flow needs of endangered salmon and asks water users to cease outdoor watering altogether. Through focus group discussion and a survey of water users, this research investigates public perception and opinion of the CRWP’s summer water conservation messaging campaign with the goal of improving the effectiveness of the messaging in future dry seasons.


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A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Environmental Management.

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