A new digital fire lookout tower will soon be able to spot small fires before they threaten communities and infrastructure in the upper McKenzie River Valley, thanks to a new ALERTWildfire camera installed Monday on a communications tower owned and operated by the Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB).Find Out More
EWEB will continue the annual closure of our College Hill Reservoir over the Fourth of July holiday and prohibit fireworks on the property grounds.Find Out More
As part of EWEB's relicensing requirements for the Carmen-Smith Hydroelectric Project, we are reducing the risk of birds colliding with electricity.Find Out More
It's called an FUV, a fun utility vehicle. And we are so having FUN! We are proud to have a small fleet of electric vehicles. Two to be exact.Find Out More
On June 18, with the help of community neighbors, EWEB inaugurated a new emergency water station at the Lane County Fairgrounds.Find Out More
The tour focused on the coordinated response to the Holiday Farm Fire, emphasizing the effectiveness of large-scale floodplain enhancement projects for mitigating the impacts of sedimentation and increasing water temperatures.Find Out More
EWEB exceeded drinking water safety standards in 2021 for every type of contaminant regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Oregon Health Authority. The utility has never failed to meet the standards.Find Out More
As a public utility, it is important EWEB check in with customers to see how we are performing. We invite you to share your feedback and opinions.Find Out More
EWEB is offering an updated suite of environmental programs designed for customers who want to save money, water and energy while taking their commitment to sustainability to the next level. At the same time, EWEB is also injecting $100,000 of additional funding into our solar photovoltaic (PV) program.Find Out More
On April 12, EWEB dispatched a two-person crew with a bucket truck to assist with repairs and restoring electric service for Columbia River Public Utility District, which serves customers in Columbia County, north of Portland.Find Out More
EWEB is moving forward with analyzing four options to remediate the Leaburg Canal, ranging from full decommissioning to complete restoration, with two options in between.Find Out More
As a public utility, owned by the people of Eugene, it’s important for us to be open and transparent with our customer-owners. The following State of the Utility Address, delivered by General Manager Frank Lawson at the March 1 EWEB Board meeting, highlights key events, accomplishments and challenges of 2021.Find Out More
Here’s an hour of one-time tasks and a few more behavior change goals that will help you reduce your water use, save energy, lower your carbon footprint and save money on your EWEB bill!Find Out More
Eugene’s drinking water received an outstanding performance rating from the Oregon Health Authority.Find Out More
New programs provide customers opportunities to invest in local environment, watershed protection, and future climate scientistsFind Out More
The beautiful McKenzie River not only supports diverse recreation, vibrant farms, and abundant fish and wildlife, but it is also the sole source of drinking water for Eugene residents and a source of clean, reliable and affordable energy.
Hydropower is a form of renewable energy that uses water stored in dams, or flowing in rivers, to create electricity. Falling or flowing water spins a turbine, activating a generator that converts the energy into carbon-free electricity, which is then fed into the electrical grid to be used by Eugene homes and businesses. Nearly 80 percent of Eugene's power comes from hydroelectric projects throughout the Pacific Northwest.
EWEB owns three local, McKenzie River hydroelectric projects: Leaburg, Walterville and Carmen-Smith.
Under operating licenses issued by the Federal government, EWEB is permitted to divert a portion of the McKenzie River for power generation. The Walterville hydroelectric project is allowed to divert 2,577 cubic feet per second (cfs) into the Walterville canal and EWEB is required to maintain minimum instream flows in the bypassed reach of the McKenzie River of 1,000 cfs at all times.
However, in 2018 EWEB made an operational decision to voluntarily adjust the flow going into the Walterville canal during low flow years in order to maintain an additional 10 percent more flow in the river during the summer. Maintaining more flow in the river than in the canal improves fish migration and enhances water quality and recreational use during the summer months.
In mid-April, EWEB conducted our annual evaluation of snowpack data and summer stream forecasts and projected the McKenzie Basin will experience below-median stream flows during the upcoming summer. Data available at that time indicated that snowpack in the basin was roughly 94 percent of median. McKenzie River streamflow forecasts for the April to September period at Vida (the closest forecast station) were 92 percent of average.
Based on these forecasts, EWEB will begin adjusting flows into the Walterville canal following the annual Walterville Project maintenance outage that is currently scheduled for June 13-26, and will maintain the adjusted flows through October 2020.
"Our community's hydro projects place EWEB in a unique position to safeguard this valuable community resource," said EWEB generation manager Mike McCann. "Whether it's managing stream flows or partnering with community members to keep pollutants out of the river, we're always working to create a balance between watershed health and human use."
The Walterville powerhouse, located off Camp Creek Road northeast of Springfield, can generate up to 8.5 megawatts of electricity, enough to power approximately 4,000 homes or roughly equal to about 3 percent of Eugene's average daily consumption of electricity.
4200 Roosevelt Blvd.
Eugene, OR 97402
Phone hours: 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.