Long-Range Water Master Plan

City of Ashland, 
Oregon

Long-Range Water Master Plan

Project Highlights: 
  • Extensive public involvement activities including facilitation of citizen’s advisory group (12 members), and open public forums.
  • Addressed need for more reliable water supply.
  • Water conservation scenarios for both emergency and day-to-day situations were evaluated.
Ashland Reservoir
Ashland’s Long-Range Water Master Plan balanced a variety of issues to meet the needs of the community. These included emergency scenarios and goals, water conservation measures, water rights/jurisdictional issues, reclamation and reuse benefits, and funding options.

Carollo completed a long-range supply plan for the City of Ashland, Oregon. Ashland relies on a reservoir on Ashland Creek for its supply storage. The reservoir is small and has inadequate capacity to supply Ashland with water during drought years. Ashland has had to implement strict conservation and rationing measures during prolonged drought periods. Ashland also had concerns regarding the reliability of its drinking water supply since both the reservoir and treatment plant were potentially vulnerable to catastrophic failure.

Complicating the planning process were often conflicting issues such as curbing growth, protecting the public’s safety, providing opportunity for economic development, sustaining the quality of life, maintaining local control, and being environmentally responsible. Key project issues included identifying emergency scenarios and goals, evaluating water conservation measures, addressing water rights and jurisdictional issues, assessing reclamation and reuse benefits, and evaluating funding options.

Carollo projected water demands for the 50-year planning period using several water conservation scenarios. This revealed water deficits ranging up to 700 million gallons per year. The team then developed water supply alternatives to meet the water demand.

Alternatives included wastewater recycling, developing a groundwater supply, using Talent Irrigation District water, developing increased reservoir storage, and connecting to Medford’s water system with a pipeline. The team developed each alternative to show conceptual infrastructure improvements, potential environmental benefits and constraints, capital and operating costs, and implementation feasibility. The result was a recommendation to share the cost of constructing a pipeline to Medford with neighboring communities.

The project team successfully addressed citizen concerns about the impact of water supply alternatives on community growth, business development, and public health through a proactive public involvement program. Carollo facilitated a citizen advisory committee, made presentations to the Ashland City Council, and participated on a Water Supply Forum attended by over 300 concerned citizens.

Carollo addressed the need for more reliable water supply and evaluated conservation scenarios for both emergency and day-to-day situations. Carollo led extensive public involvement activities including facilitation of a citizen advisory group and open public forums.

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