While water is usually abundant in the Portland Metro Region, maintaining the health and bounty of the Bull Run Watershed’s rivers, lakes, and streams is an important issue for our local ecosystems. As the climate warms, using less water to prepare and adapt to sporadic droughts will also be necessary.

stormwater management solutions such as rain gardens

Landscaping Impacts Water Use

Landscaping practices help reduce pollutants in stormwater, to learn more visit out land use page.

Stormwater Management & Water Conservation Features

Rainwater Harvesting

Reuse captured rainwater for toilet flushing and irrigation, conserves potable water

Where: Academic & Student Recreation Center, Engineering Building, Epler Hall

Stormwater Planters

Slow and filter runoff reducing the rate, quantity, and pollutants before water flows back into the river/watershed

Where: 12th & 4th Aves, Montgomery Green Street, Urban Plaza, SRTC, Walk of the Heroines

Pervious Pavers

Allow storm water to seep into the ground, reducing erosion, helping to filter pollutants, and recharging ground water

Where:Native American Student & Community Center, Biology Research Greenhouses, ASRC 5th floor patio, Shattuck Hall Ecological Learning Plaza


Contain plants that filter storm water runoff, helping to remove pollutants

Where: Helen Gordon, Epler Hall

Green Roofs 

Enhance the lifespan of a roof, reduce building's storm water runoff, and mitigate rooftop heat loss/maintain cooler temperatures

Where: Broadway, Native American Student & Community Center, Blumel Bike Shelter, ASRC

Research Projects: SRTC (green roof + solar compatibility), Cramer Hall, Shattuck Hall Ecological Learning Plaza

Water Efficient Fixtures

Low flow sinks, toilets, and waterless urinals conserve potable water

Where: University Place Hotel, Broadway, Epler, Engineering Building

PSU Sustainable Drinking Water Task Force

Sustainable Drinking Water

The Sustainable Drinking Water Task Force, appointed by PSU President Wiewel, convened student and staff partners to collaboratively identify means of reducing bottled water consumption on campus. View the task force report and recommendations. Stakeholders continue to meet and implement recommendations.

Why it Matters 

Bottled water is significantly more expensive than tap water, and is energy intensive in production, transportation, and disposal. The main environmental impacts of bottled water are associated with the production of the bottles' plastic resin, and the waste those bottles become.


What You Can Do

Reusable Cups & Bottles 

Portland'sTap Water is some of the best in the world. PSU also has several hydration locations for filling reusable water bottles, as well as a mobile outdoor refill station, the H2GO!

   >> View map of refill locations.

   >> Contact greencampus@pdx.edu to borrow the H2GO

Get Involved

The Take Back the Tap campaign for colleges and universities encourages consumption of tap water over bottled water.

Get Educated

 For more information about the costs of bottled water, check out this great video from Story of Stuff Project.