Washington Water Science Center

Water Availability and Use

WAWSC scientists provide data and tools to State, Local, Tribal and Federal water managers to assist them in best allocating groundwater supplies while also meeting both instream and out-of-stream demands. We characterize local- to regional-scale aquifer systems, measure basin water budgets and interactions between groundwater and surface water, and develop numerical models to understand how extensively-managed hydrologic systems respond to changes. Issues being addressed include predicting the effects of alternative water-resource management strategies, conjunctive groundwater and surface-water uses, climate change, and growing water demands. We also are working to understand how these changes may affect saltwater intrusion into coastal aquifers, and discharge of groundwater into stream, wetland, and estuarine habitats.

Filter Total Items: 60
Date published: January 3, 2013
Status: Completed

Little Spokane Hydrogeology

The Issue: Groundwater is an important resource for domestic, commercial, and agricultural usage in the Little Spokane River Basin, and groundwater discharge helps maintain streamflow in area streams. Consequently, as the population grows, and commercial and agricultural activity increase, so does the demand for groundwater. However, the quantity of usable groundwater, and the...

Contacts: Sue Kahle
Date published: January 1, 2013
Status: Completed

Chimacum GW Model

Projected increases in population and development in northeastern Jefferson County, Washington, are expected to lead to increased groundwater withdrawals in the Chimacum Creek Basin. Changes in land use and climate could reduce groundwater recharge, thereby reducing groundwater available for drinking and for baseflow to streams that host endangered fish species.

The USGS is developing...

Date published: January 1, 2013
Status: Completed

Consumptive Use

The Issue: Fresh groundwater withdrawals for irrigation from 66 principal aquifers in the United States comprised approximately three-fourths of total groundwater withdrawals in the year 2000. The magnitude of these withdrawals is certainly substantial but difficult to quantify because few states actually monitor groundwater withdrawals for irrigation. Water-resource managers...

Date published: January 1, 2012
Status: Completed

Chamokane Framework and Model

Chamokane Creek Basin is a 179-square-mile area that borders and partially overlaps the Spokane Indian Reservation in southern Stevens County in northeastern Washington State. In 1979, all water rights in the Chamokane Creek Basin were adjudicated by a Federal court, which gave senior, reserved water rights to the Spokane Tribe of Indians for irrigation and protection of fish in Chamokane...

Contacts: Sue Kahle
Date published: January 10, 2011
Status: Completed

NWIFC Water Assessment

Water resources are essential to Native American Tribes in western Washington for instream and out-of-stream uses. As the demand for water across the region increases, western Washington Tribes need critical information about water availability, water use, and ecological needs for water in order to manage their resources. To assess tribal water resources comprehensively in western Washington,...

Contacts:
Date published: January 6, 2011
Status: Completed

Johns Creek Framework

Located in Mason County in western Washington State, Johns Creek is an important producer of coho and chum salmon. In 1984, the Washington State Department of Ecology established an Instream Resources Protection Program for Water Resource Inventory Area 14 (WAC 173-514) to retain sufficient in-stream flow to protect fish and wildlife, scenic, aesthetic and other environmental values. This...

Date published: January 5, 2011
Status: Completed

Hood Canal

In September 2002, fish in Hood Canal near Hoodsport were under stress from low concentrations of dissolved oxygen, prompting the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife to temporarily close parts of Hood Canal to some types of fishing during the month of October. In 2003, low dissolved oxygen conditions worsened, some fish kills were observed as early as June, and by October large...

Contacts: Rich Sheibley
Date published: January 5, 2011
Status: Completed

Yakima River Basin

The Yakima River flows 215 miles from the outlet of Keechelus Lake in the central Washington Cascades southeasterly to the Columbia River, draining an area of 6,155 square miles. The Yakima River Basin is one of the most intensively irrigated areas in the United States. Population in the Yakima River Basin was about 238,000 in 1990.

Increasing demands for water for municipal, fisheries...

Date published: January 3, 2011
Status: Completed

Columbia Plateau Groundwater Availability Study

The Columbia Plateau Regional Aquifer System (CPRAS) covers about 44,000 square miles of eastern Oregon and Washington and western Idaho. The primary aquifers are basalts of the Columbia River Basalt Group and overlying basin-fill sediments. Groundwater availability issues in the basin include: 1) widespread water-level declines caused by pumping, 2) reduction in base flow to rivers and...

Date published: January 2, 2011
Status: Completed

Quilcene Bay

In response to concerns that increased use of ground- and surface-water supplies in watersheds in Washington leaves insufficient in-stream flow for fish and other users, the Washington State legislature passed the Watershed Management Act of 1998, which encourages watershed planning at the local level. As part of this planning, stakeholders within a Water Resources Inventory Area (WRIA) need...

Contacts: Joseph Jones
Date published: January 2, 2011
Status: Completed

Bainbridge Island

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...

Contacts: Lonna M Frans
Date published: January 2, 2011
Status: Completed

Chehalis River Basin

The Chehalis River flows approximately 125 miles in southwestern Washington north-northwesterly to Grays Harbor and the Pacific Ocean, draining an area of approximately 2,700 square miles. The Chehalis River Basin is the second largest basin in Washington State. It is bounded on the west by the Pacific Ocean, on the east by the Deschutes River Basin, on the north by the Olympic Mountains, and...