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Groundwater and surface-water data collection for the Walla Walla River Basin, Washington, 2018–22

September 26, 2022

The semi-arid Walla Walla River Basin (WWRB) spans 1777 square miles in the states of Washington and Oregon and supports a diverse agricultural region as well as cities and rural communities that are partially reliant on groundwater. Historically, surface water and groundwater data have been collected in the WWRB by several entities including federal, state, local, and tribal governments; irrigation districts; universities; and non-profits. This report describes the surface and groundwater data collection by the U.S. Geological Survey from February 2018 to April 2022 to provide the Washington State Department of Ecology and other stakeholders basic knowledge of existing water resources in the WWRB, Washington. Additionally, the data were collected to build a long-term groundwater dataset, with the intent to provide data for better understanding to assist in informed decisions about groundwater use, management, and conservation throughout the basin, and for future inclusion in a conceptual model of the groundwater-flow system (conceptual model). Data were collected and compiled for 237 sites—191 wells and 46 surface-water discharge sites. A small annual network of deep basalt wells was established in February 2018 to commence the data collection. In March 2020 and April 2021, additional field inventories were performed by locating and measuring groundwater wells in the WWRB. A subset of the inventoried wells were selected for an annual or a quarterly water level network to be measured until July 2024. In August 2020, field reconnaissance identified 46 surface-water sites to be measured for discharge, estimating gaining and losing reaches in streams for groundwater influences.

Publication Year 2022
Title Groundwater and surface-water data collection for the Walla Walla River Basin, Washington, 2018–22
DOI 10.3133/dr1163
Authors Elisabeth T. Fasser, Sarah B. Dunn
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Data Report
Series Number 1163
Index ID dr1163
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Washington Water Science Center