USGS Washington Water Science Center
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State and local water-resource managers in Lower Skagit/Samish Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA-3) face two water-availability issues that are common throughout Washington State. First, they must reserve water for domestic wells that are exempt from the water rights system without harming river and stream ecosystems in the lower Skagit River basin. Skagit County, which would be responsible for implementing the proposed reservation rules through land-use management, requires a scientifically credible basis for allocating reservations of any size. Second, water managers need to determine where ground-water pumping between the Skagit and Samish basins should be regulated as part of the Skagit River instream-flow regulations.