USGS Washington Water Science Center
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The lower Nooksack River Basin is located in Whatcom County, in the northwestern part of Washington. Within areas of the basin, the ground-water aquifer is shallow. Knowledge of how the surface water and the aquifer interact, and how this interaction affects the transport of bacteria and nitrates from agricultural fields to the ground-water system, is important to residents of the basin. This is true for the Nooksack and Lummi Indian Tribes, who have a large natural-resource interest in the area.
To help improve the understanding of how ground water and surface water interact in the basin, and to help resource managers plan for better water quality in the basin, the USGS is identifying areas where interactions occur and in which direction the waters are flowing. The USGS is also examining the ground- and surface-water quality.