Coffee and Water
With summer coming to an end, two commemorative events come to mind here at the Willamette Water Supply Program office: “International Coffee Day” and “Imagine a Day Without Water.” You can’t make coffee without water and a day without coffee is unimaginable to most Oregonians!
Most people take water for granted and if they read something about “failing infrastructure,” they likely picture potholes in the road and rusted out bridges that need to be replaced. But that is just the infrastructure that is easily seen. There is a lot more infrastructure under our feet, and in many places it is much older than the roads on which we drive. While you may not spend much time thinking about all those pipes that deliver safe, clean water reliably to your home, your child’s school, and/or your place of business–but we do.
According to National Geographic, the U.S. has 1.2 million miles of water mains—that’s 26 miles of water mains for every mile of interstate highway. When those mains fail, water distribution is disrupted. Without water, people can’t flush the toilet, give their dog a bowl of water or make a cup of coffee. Businesses and industries cannot operate without a reliable water system either. They need water to keep their restaurants, breweries, and manufacturing plants in operation and their workers employed. Water keeps the economy, and our community, flowing.
That’s why the Willamette Water Supply Program is building a resilient water system for the region’s next source of water. Not only do we need an additional supply of water to meet future demands, we need a system designed to last for the next 100 years so we, our children and future generations can continue to enjoy all the things we use water for, including that cup of coffee.
Announcing MWH Americas, Inc. as Managing Firm for Willamette Water Supply Program
After an extensive selection process, MWH Americas, Inc. has been chosen to provide management services for the Program.
MWH, supported by Carollo Engineers, will augment the existing team with professionals who have experience delivering similar, large-scale infrastructure programs. In particular, members of the MWH team have just completed work on the highly successful Southern Delivery System (SDS) program–a new water supply project in Colorado. The Willamette Water Supply Program and SDS are strikingly similar in terms of their purpose, scale, components, and delivery approach. The new program management staff will share best practices and lessons learned from the SDS program with our team members.
During the first year, the program team will work through an intensive mobilization phase to establish a program management plan. This plan will chart the course for successful delivery of drinking water to participating Program partners in 2026. The team will develop a strategy and schedule for delivering each of the Program components, and will also establish program control systems and procedures to closely monitor costs and schedule.
Mark Knudson, Chief Executive Officer said, “We are glad that our integrated team of program staff is now fully assembled and ready to move forward to secure a new water supply for Washington County. With the addition of MWH, we are well on the way to establishing a clear roadmap for successful delivery of the Willamette Water Supply.”