ARCH CAPE — The unincorporated area of Arch Cape has been recognized for water conservation efforts by the Oregon Water Resources Department.

Arch Cape, with only 150 residents, was the only district nominated for towns serving less than 1,000 customers. The award is designed to recognize individuals, groups and businesses for responsible water management.

Kerri Cope, a Water Management and Conservation Analyst for the Oregon Water Resources Department, said Arch Cape was recognized because of the department’s plans to construct a glass-lined steel reservoir, install new radio-read meters and update distribution piping.

“It’s been several years since we’ve made any water stewardship and conservation awards, but Arch Cape’s Water Management and Conservation Plan was the inspiration for once again recognizing those who have shown an outstanding commitment to responsible water management,” Cope said.

The City of Prineville and the Dillon Dam Project in Umatilla County were also recognized for water conservation efforts.

The Water Management and Conservation Plan is a document all water suppliers are required to submit to the state, Arch Cape Domestic Water Supply District Manager Phil Chick said. It serves as a road map for how the department plans to save water for the next 10 years.

Some of the other goals listed in Arch Cape’s plan include improving the district’s leak detection program, as well as a yearly water audit to identify and quantify water waste.

While these conservation strategies aren’t necessarily unique to Arch Cape, Chick said what he finds notable is how the plan was designed and by who.

“We did this all in house by staff. Usually a plan of this size is done by consultants, so we are pretty proud,” Chick said. “The passion for this comes from a locally-dedicated citizenry. Our community is very proactive ­­— we have a knack for getting ahead of things.”

This document serves as a plan mainly for when cities face water shortages — a reality that is possible but not often seen on the rainy, Oregon Coast. But for Chick it’s about making sure the resource is not being taken for granted.

The water conservation plan parallels the town’s long term goal to acquire the 5,000 acres that constitutes the area’s watershed, echoing the area’s overall commitment to sustainable operations, Chick said.

“What better way than to manage from the source?” he said. “Water is too important.”



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