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News Release

U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey

Release: October 27, 2000
Brian Drost
253-428-3600, ext. 2642

Marijke van Heeswijk
253-428-3600, ext. 2625

Methow River Basin ground-water study to begin next week

A ground-water study that will start with a look at wells in the Methow River Basin is set to begin next week, according to the Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

Conducted in cooperation with the Methow River Basin Planning Unit and the Okanogan County Department of Water Resources, the study begins with measurements of water levels in wells throughout the basin. From these measurements, USGS scientists will be able to map the basin's water table to get a clear picture of how much ground water is there, where it is, and where it's going.

Five USGS field crews are planning to visit about 300 water wells throughout the basin.

"We'll be working in the basin for about five weeks, starting October 30," said Marijke van Heeswijk, USGS hydrologist and project chief for the study.

To get an accurate, scientific assessment of the basin's ground water, as many well measurements as possible are needed. The USGS is asking individual well owners to help out by giving permission for their wells' water levels to be measured.

"As a well owner, you play a big part in getting an accurate assessment," van Heeswijk said. "Information from your well is the cornerstone in estimating total ground-water availability for all water users in the basin."

All USGS field crew members carry official identification and will ask a well owner for permission to measure the water level in their well, van Heeswijk added. The crews will begin measurement work October 30 and will continue through December 1.

For information about Okanogan County's water resources program, contact Julie Dagnon of the Okanogan County Department of Water Resources at (509) 422-7370.

As the Nation's largest water, earth and biological science, and civilian mapping agency, the USGS works in cooperation with more than 2,000 organizations across the country to provide reliable, impartial scientific information to resource managers, planners, and other customers. This information is gathered in every state by USGS scientists to minimize the loss of life and property from natural disasters, contribute to the sound conservation and the economic and physical development of the nation's natural resources, and enhance the quality of life by monitoring water, biological, energy, and mineral resources.

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