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Benefits And Impacts

Community

Newport is home to about 11,000 year-round residents, hundreds of daily commuters, and attracts 2.5 million visitors annually. The City’s sole water supply is stored in the Big Creek Reservoirs. Without these reservoirs, everything from tourism to the fishing industry to your local brewery would grind to a halt. Newport and its economy rely on water.
If the dams failed tomorrow, Newport residents could experience:
Lost loved ones and displaced families
1000’s of lost jobs
1 year (or more) of living without a water supply
Inoperable health care facilities
The Big Creek Dams keep these things from happening by guarding our city’s lifeblood. We must ensure the dams can continue to do their job.

Environmental

As the City of Newport works to develop design and construction plans for the project, the environment is considered every step of the way. Oregon water projects are subject to strict environmental laws and regulations and are carefully reviewed by experts before permitting. The City is working with experts to develop plans that help limit Newport’s reliance on the Siletz River, especially when the river is stressed, and mitigate any impacts to wildlife that the new dams might have.
Without this project, crucial infrastructure and land would be destroyed or severely impacted:
Environmental stewardship is a cornerstone of the Big Creek Dams Project and will continue to be a priority as work continues.

Economic

Newport’s economy hinges on the success of this project. If the Big Creek Dams were to fail, causing a partial or complete disruption to the City’s water supply, the community would be negatively impacted by:
Annual Loss of Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
Annual Loss of Municipal Water Revenue
Decrease in operational capability of local industries (tourism, fish processing, brewing, oceanographic research)
Increase in relocation of businesses and citizens out of Newport
Newport has already experienced the impact of lost water. A 2020 water treatment emergency caused a water shortage and resulted in economic losses for the industries residents rely on for jobs and demonstrated the need for reliable water service.

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