Water Resource Assessment for Remote Elephant Center

(Sandy, OR)  Landau Associates assisted Metro, a Portland metropolitan area regional government agency and the owner of the Oregon Zoo, with a water resource assessment of a roughly 240-acre rural land parcel proposed for use as a remote elephant center capable of supporting a herd of up to 18 Asian elephants. The proposed development would consist of 100 acres of outdoor elephant habitat, a 34,000 square foot elephant housing facility, a residence for a full-time caretaker, and resources for visitors, including educational programs. The purpose of the assessment was to evaluate practical water supply options to support stock-watering for the elephants, irrigation of crops that could be used as a food source for the elephants, use by staff and visitors, and a water feature in each outdoor elephant area. Water supply options analyzed included groundwater, surface water, rain water, and municipal water.

The assessment documented the feasibility of each water supply option in terms of its ability to supply the requisite water, as well as the likelihood of securing water rights and permits associated with each option. The assessment included an estimation of surface water resources based on site observations and measurements, interviews with local regulatory authorities and property owners, and a review of geologic maps, hydrogeologic reports, climatic data, and regulatory documents. It was determined that both groundwater and municipal supply were feasible options for supplying water to the proposed development. The assessment also included preliminary engineering costs and an explanation of applicable wastewater handling regulations.

Services were provided to Metro under an on-call environmental services contract.