Science Center Objects

Ground water is the sole source of drinking water for the City of Bainbridge Island in Kitsap County, Washington. As the population grows, demand for ground water grows, too. However, because ground water is limited by area and by the potential for seawater intrusion, the City recognizes in the Water Resources Element of its comprehensive plan that water resources must be carefully managed and protected.

To help the City of Bainbridge Island manage and protect its ground-water resources for present and future uses, the USGS is developing an island-wide ground-water model. City resource managers will use the model as a tool in making water-resource management decisions in order to achieve the goals of the City's comprehensive plan.

The USGS will characterize the ground-water flow system on Bainbridge Island and its interaction with streams and other surface-water features. The USGS will integrate this information into a numerical ground-water flow model to assist water-resource managers in the development of a long-term watershed management plan.

9722-CWQ - Characterization and Numerical Simulation of the Water Resources on Bainbridge Island, Kitsap County - Completed FY2011

Problem - Ground water is the sole source of drinking water for the population of Bainbridge Island. Consequently, as the population grows, so does the demand for ground water. However, the quantity of usable ground water is limited, largely because of the island environment and the potential for seawater intrusion as ground-water usage increases. Under the Water Resources Element of the City's comprehensive plan, "the protection of water resources is of primary importance to the Island. Therefore, the goal is to manage water resources for present and projected land uses, recognizing Island water resources are the sole water supply and that: degradation of groundwater quality and quantity is not allowed; water supplies and systems are efficiently utilized; the long-term sustainability of the Island's water resources is maintained; the water needs of new development approved under the Comprehensive Plan are adequately met; and adequate data of the water resource is available." An island-wide ground-water model can be used as a tool in making water-resource management decisions in order to achieve the goals stated above.

Objectives - The major objectives of the study are to characterize the ground-water flow system on Bainbridge Island and its interaction with associated surface-water features, and to integrate this information into a numerical ground-water flow model to assist water-resource managers in the development of a long-term watershed management plan.

Relevance and Benefits - This study is consistent with the national USGS mission and goals and with water-resource issues identified in the Center's Science Plan. The study addresses ground-water availability and sustainability, and surface-water and ground-water interactions as related to water-resource management, which are priority issues for both the Strategic Directions of the Water Resources Division 1999-2008 and the USGS Washington Water Science Center's Science Plan. This study also will provide resource managers on Bainbridge Island with a numerical flow model to assist in the development of a long-term watershed management plan to meet the needs of current and future water demands within the watershed, while also working to protect and improve its natural resources. This study is appropriate for inclusion in the USGS Cooperative Program because it will provide information that advances understanding of hydrologic processes.

Approach - Existing and new ground- and surface-water data will be compiled and evaluated to characterize the flow system, and entered into the National Water Information System data base. A numerical ground-water flow model will be constructed to simulate potential management alternatives and climatic impacts on ground- and surface-water resources, and the model will be transferred to the City of Bainbridge Island Public Works (CBIPW) to assist in development of a long-term management plan for the island. A quality-assurance/quality-control plan will be developed to facilitate communication and methods between project partners and stakeholders.