Elwha-Morse Watershed

Science Center Objects

Have increased demands for Washington State's ground water and surface water left sufficient stream flows for fish and other uses?

To find out, the state's Watershed Management Act of 1998 (ESHB 2514) confers on local people the responsibility for conducting local watershed planning.

The Elwha-Morse Watershed area was formed out of the western part of Water Resources Inventory Area 18 (WRIA 18) in Clallam and Jefferson Counties, Washington, and is managed by the Elwha-Morse Management Team. Under the terms of ESHB 2514, the team is responsible for assessing the water resources of its area and conducting hydrologic analyses to determine whether there is water enough for allocation.

The U.S. Geological Survey has assisted, in part, by gathering existing data, identifying sources of data and information, and assembling it in the centralized location of this web site, where it is easily accessible to everyone in the community.

WA007-04 - Water Resources Inventory for the Elwha River and Morse Creek Watersheds

Introduction - Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA) 18 Planning Unit is developing a watershed plan to maintain reliable supplies of clean water for economic growth and a healthy aquatic habitat, based on the State of Washington's Watershed Management Act (RCW 90.82/ESHB2514). Water-resources and related data and information are needed to develop the plan and will be necessary for making water resource management decisions for the study when the dams on the Elwha River are removed. The assembling of data into a centralized location will also allow all interested parties easy access to information.

Objectives - The objective of this study is to gather and assemble the readily available water-resource and related data and information for the Elwha River and Morse Creek Watersheds. Data gathered and assembled from this work will provide information needed by the Planning Unit to assess what data are available, where there are data deficiencies, and how best to proceed with technical assessments and in developing their watershed plan.

Scope - The U.S. Geological Survey will gather and assemble the readily available existing data sets and identify data sources within the Elwha-Morse Watershed Area related to water quantity, water quality, and stream habitat, with an emphasis on water-quantity. A bibliographical listing of related reports will also be compiled. The Elwha-Morse Watershed Area is the west portion of WRIA 18, including the Elwha River and it's tributaries and Dry, Tumwater, Valley, Peabody, Ennis, Lees, and Morse Creekss.

Approach - The data sets to be gathered and assembled will include readily available geohydrologic information such as streamflow, ground-water levels, water quality, land cover, soils, geology, and meteorology. Sources of information will be identified for water use and previous studies, where available. These data will be used to write a scope of work to do an assessment of the water resources. The scope of work will be based on the available funding for the ESHB 2514 Phase II technical assessment and the emphasis will be on water quantity. It will also include an assessment of the gaps and deficiencies in the available data and information, and the types of data and locations where new data are needed.