Document Type


Publication Date



Sustainable development -- Oregon -- Portland, City planning -- Oregon -- Portland, Community development, Groundwater


This project examines Holgate Lake. Despite its natural hazard characteristics, the Holgate Lake area has not been immune to development pressure. Holgate Lake is an intermittent water body that forms when groundwater levels rise. Historical accounts show that the lake has formed at many different times in the last century. Because the lake fluctuates with the groundwater level, it is not necessarily present from year to year. As the area has developed, more and more people built in the location of the natural lakebed when the water was not present. When the lake level returned in the 1960's flooding of homes in the area became a significant concern. The water remained for up to three months at a time, causing people to leave their homes and belongings behind. A period of dry weather persisted through the 1970's and 1980's, which lowered the level of concern about the lake's potential impacts. Due in part to the lower level 0 concern, development continued to occur in the area. However, the concerns returned in 1996 and 1997 when the lake level rose and inundated the area. These events refocused the City of Portland's attention on this area and its flooding issues.


This report was prepared for the City of Portland's Bureau of Environmental Services.

Persistent Identifier