Emergency sandbags during 1996 Portland flood

The Oregon Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (ORWARN) is composed of member utilities providing voluntary assistance to each other during an emergency incident.

Rapid Emergency Assistance

ORWARN facilitates rapid, short-term deployment of emergency services, in the form of personnel, equipment and materials, that are required to restore critical operations to utilities that have sustained damages from natural or man-made events.

Emergencies transcend jurisdictional boundaries so effective coordination is essential in preserving lives and property. ORWARN is part of a national “utilities helping utilities” effort led by the water and wastewater industry to develop a secure, web-based intrastate resource sharing tool.

Promoting Mutual Aid

A Mutual Aid Agreement signed by participating members promotes:

  • Increased emergency planning and coordination
  • Enhanced access to specialized and vital resources
  • Expedited arrival of aid to respond and recover quickly from a disaster
  • Reduced administrative conflict
  • A mutual assistance program consistent with the National Incident Management System (NIMS)
  • A sense of hope among survivors due to emphasis on restoration of utility services


ORWARN members establish a board composed of volunteers from participating utilities within the state. A chair is elected by the board to act as administrator for ORWARN.

Annual ORWARN Conference

The steering committee organizes the Annual ORWARN Conference for signatory utilities to address concerns and procedures related to mutual assistance and emergency preparedness.


Joining ORWARN is free and there is never any obligation for utilities to provide aid. Members establish a contractual relationship under which they are able to share resources, at their discretion, during an emergency. Learn more about the benefits of membership.