POL Government Elected Officials Nick Fish

Welcome to Commissioner Nick Fish's website

Commissioner Fish is in charge of the Portland Water Bureau and the Bureau of Environmental Services.  He is also Council liaison to Elders in Action, Venture Portland, and the Regional Arts & Culture Council.



Special guests in City Hall

Today, Nick was proud to meet with Hiroshi Furusawa, the Consul General of Japan, and a delegation of elected officials from Osaka Prefecture, Japan.


Osaka is the second largest city in Japan, second only to Tokyo. It’s famous for dragon boat racing (like Portland!), octopus dumplings called takoyaki, and its warm, friendly people. 


The delegation is here to foster a meaningful connection with Portland, learn more about our commission style of government, and take in Portland’s innovative culture. 


Portland has had a long-standing relationship with Japan. Sapporo is our oldest sister-city, since 1959.  Influences of Portland’s friendship with Japan can be seen and felt around the city. We have the beautiful and serene Portland Japanese Gardens in Southwest. There is also the Japanese American Historical Plaza and Bill of Rights Memorial at Tom McCall Park, which is surrounded by incredible Japanese cherry blossoms. 


We are thankful for our friendship with Japan, and hope it continues to grow.


Check out the City’s International Relations' website to learn more about our sister-cities. 

July 7, 2015

Golden animals

The Portland Art Museum has a wonderful new installation covered in gold.   


Created by internationally acclaimed artist Ai Weiwei, Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Gold consists of twelve golden animal heads, representing the traditional Chinese zodiac. 


The originals were designed in the 18th century by European Jesuits who served on the court of Emperor Qianlong in Beijing. The heads functioned as a water-clock fountain, and adorned an incredible imperial palace. 


In 1860, the palace was ransacked by British and French troops, and the heads were stolen. Today, five have been returned to China, while ownership of several others have been contested.


Weiwei’s installation engages issues faced by the original heads, including looting artworks, repatriation, and the importance of cultural heritage. 


The Portland Art Museum is funded in part by the Regional Arts & Culture Council’s (RACC) General Operating Support program.


Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Gold is up through September 13.


Check out the RACC’s website to learn more. 


Photo courtesy of the Portland Art Museum.

July 6, 2015

The Weekly Catch

July 2, 2015

Never fear, water is here

This summer has already been a scorcher!


With this heat wave and dry conditions, many areas of Oregon are facing a drought. 


We are very fortunate here in Portland – we have an abundant water supply, thanks to our visionary Bull Run Watershed and the Columbia South Shore Well Field! 


The Bull Run Watershed is our primary source of water. It’s located in the Sandy River Basin, in the Mt. Hood National Forest.  The Bull Run water supply comes from spring rain, rather than snowpack – and Mt. Hood had a rainy spring. The two Bull Run dams hold a total of 19 billion gallons of water.


The Columbia South Shore Well Field is our secondary water source. It is groundwater found in underground aquifers. The Well Field is capable of producing nearly 100 million gallons of quality water per day. 


During the hot summer months, or during winter storms, water from the Well Field is sometimes blended with water from the Bull Run.


The Portland Water Bureau also occasionally blends water when they are hard at work with maintenance. By doing routine operations, the bureau ensures that our water system is reliable and able to meet seasonal supply demands. 


Portland has some of the best drinking water in the world. Among the Bull Run and the Well Field, we have billions of gallons of quality drinking water. Our impressive water system serves nearly a quarter of our state’s population. 


Visit the Portland Water Bureau’s website for more information. 

July 1, 2015

Lilly Lee - Blog #5


If you are following my blog, you know that last week I went to the opening of the new Interstate building. There I met a woman named Catherine Howells, she works at Portland State as an adjunct assistant professor. Catherine teaches about where tap water comes from, and invited me to tag along with her class to visit the Bull Run watershed. Water from rain and snowmelt flows into the Bull Run River, then drains into two reservoirs; all the water is moved through pipes by gravity.


Our Bull Run guide was Lisa Vieno, she works for the PWB as the water resources educator. She taught us everything we needed to know about the Bull Run. On our tour I got to see the different waters of the Sandy River and the Bull Run water. The Sandy River was very brown, and the Bull Run water was the absolute clearest water I had ever seen.


For lunch, we rode up to a gorgeous lake. This lake had three cabins, I took my lunch break along with other students at the third cabin. For lunch, I brought a salmon mango salad; although I forgot salad dressing the mango did the trick. My lunch view was the best part of the whole day, I had the view of the lake, forest trees, and Mt. Hood. It was one of the best lunch breaks I had ever had.


We stopped by a house overlooking the first dam for a rest because Catherine had baked cookies and brownies. Then we got to explore and walk on the dam; we even got to walk down a very steep stair case on the side of the dam. The view was incredible, and the weather was unbelievable! After sweating, and being in the sun all day, our tour lead us to a cooled tunnel. There was water dripping in the tunnel, and the walls of this tunnel had a range of colors (green, red, yellow, orange).


Over all I had a great day exploring the Bull Run. Not to mention it was my first time on Mt. Hood!!! It is really great knowing where tap water comes from, and who works hard to keep water safe for Portlanders. I just wanted to thank the Portland Water Bureau for their hard work. I love Portland tap water, because it tastes delicious!  

July 1, 2015

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