Thermal Loading Offsets

Project Description

Clean Water Services (CWS) is an independent special services district in Northwestern Oregon, operating in wastewater and storm water management, among other functions. In order to mitigate in-stream temperature increases produced by wastewater treatment, CWS invests in landscape projects that cool stream water. This project is now serving as a model for other cities in Oregon, such as Ashland, that are looking for alternatives to mechanically cooling treated effluent. Participants: 93% of the watershed is privately owned, much of that being in farmland. Payments are a large incentive f...

Project Map

Publicly Accessible: Yes
County: Multnomah County, OR; Washington County, OR

Project Sites

  • CWS Administrative Building
  • CWS Forest Grove Treatment Plant
  • CWS Treatment Facility
  • Tualatin SWCD Office
  • West Multnomah SWCD Office

Goals and Targets

Primary Motivations:

  • Conservation Mission
    To preserve land and habitat in the watershed
  • Financial Incentive
    To compensate landowners for land management changes
  • Mitigation
    TMDL for temperature

Primary Goals:

  • To provide incentive for landowners to protect the services that watersheds provide. Water temperature is targeted by enhancing riparian vegetation to shade streams.
    Progress: Please refer to the primary contact, supplementary materials, or the project website.

Targeted Habitats:

  • Aquatic
    • Rivers and Streams
  • Forests and Woodlands
  • Human Habitats
    • Agriculture
      • Pasture / Hay
      • Cultivated Crops
      • Old Field, Abandoned Cropland or Recent Clearcuts
  • Wetlands and Riparian Habitats
    • Lowland Riparian Forests and Shrublands

Targeted Species:

No targeted species were identified for this project.

Conservation Actions

Action Status Start Year End Year
Plant native riparian, wetland or aquatic vegetation Ongoing Management 2004 --
Create or maintain aquatic habitat buffers Ongoing Management 2004 --


Is the success of this project's actions being monitored? No/Unknown

Lessons Learned and/or Suggestions for Similar Activities
Benefits: Over the first five years of the crediting program, CWS reduced their net thermal loading to 0 kcal. Ancillary benefits include erosion prevention, carbon sequestration, runoff filtering, and habitat expansion. Challenges: Landowners are reluctant to give up any rights to the land.

Quick Facts

Owning Organization

Eco Agriculture

Managing Organization

Clean Water Services (CWS)
(Public Utility)

Contact Information

Bartholomew (Mac) Martin (Water Resources Analyst)
Clean Water Services

General Information

Project #: 15843
Last Updated: April 22, 2011

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