Community Partner

The Rogue River Watershed Council (RRWC), the City of Grants Pass, and the Medford Water Commission

First Advisor

Eugene Foster

Date of Award

Winter 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Environmental Management (MEM)


Environmental Science and Management




Drinking water -- Contamination -- Oregon -- Grants Pass, Risk assessment, Geographic information systems, Wellhead protection -- Oregon -- Grants Pass




For many communities, drinking water comes from surface water sources, or source water, such as rivers and creeks. Within the city of Grants Pass, Oregon, this is the case. The Rogue River, which spans 215 miles, beginning near Crater Lake and emptying into the ocean at Gold Beach, is Grants Pass' Rogue River, in relation to drinking water, is rarely an issue for the City of Grants Pass' Public Works Department, the potential contaminant sources (PCS) from the urban, commercial, and industrial geographical areas of Grants Pass is a concern. In order to deploy treatment processes that are capable of targeting these PCS, it is important to have an idea of where and how these PCS are reaching the storm drains, creeks, and eventually the Rogue River. The purpose of this study was to identify area-specific risk components and how those components spatially aligned with PCS and their locations. Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis and a risk matrix were used to rank the PCS according to risk in relation to Grants Pass’ source water intake. PCS ranked as high priority, or exuding the highest risk to drinking water quality, were followed up with on-the-ground surveys. After surveying the high priority PCS, best management practices (BMP) recommendations were made to the City of Grants Pass to better protect the drinking water quality. Branching off of this initial project work came similar studies in many other Rogue Basin communities. With this continued work, improvements were made to streamline the processes, such as recording survey observations. Overall, this project work has led to many discoveries regarding threats to drinking water quality and how to best respond to certain types of threats.


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

Persistent Identifier