EWEB Water Reliability Initiative

Emergency water distribution is a top priority for EWEB's disaster planning and recovery planning.

With a single source of water supply on the McKenzie River, EWEB is working to develop an emergency water supply program to help address the water supply system’s vulnerability to catastrophic events, such as a powerful earthquake. EWEB has long pursued a second source of surface water supply, but has prioritized the use of emergency groundwater wells because of the balance between water reliability and affordability. 

GSI evaluated the potential to use existing or new groundwater wells to supply emergency water distribution sites where water customers would bring personal containers to fill with groundwater. GSI reviewed available hydrogeologic information to assess potential well yield at each proposed site and evaluated well siting factors. We also assessed water rights and regulatory compliance issues with operating the wells as emergency-only sources of water, and reviewed operational considerations, including planning-level costs and general operations and maintenance needs. We are now providing support and oversight for the siting and construction of emergency wells at the first three sites identified by EWEB.

GSI work involved:

  • Assessing potential well yield and evaluating well siting factors at each proposed location.
  • Evaluating water rights and compliance issues associated with operating the wells only in emergencies.
  • Providing support and oversight for the siting and construction of the first three emergency wells.


Eugene, Oregon


  • Resiliency planning
  • Groundwater supply development
  • Emergency water supply development

EWEB is at the forefront of implementing a cost-effective and flexible approach to addressing water supply resiliency using emergency groundwater wells.

Photo Gallery

Testing the new Howard emergency well