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News Release

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

Release: August 15, 2000
M.A. Jones, Hydrologist
253-428-3600, ext. 2617

John Vaccaro, Hydrologist
253-428-3600, ext. 2620

Yakima Basin ground-water study to begin next week

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

The study includes Yakima, Kittitas, and Benton Counties, as well as a small part of Klickitat County.

USGS field crews are planning to measure water levels in over 1,000 water wells throughout the basin in order to get a clear picture of how much ground water is there, and where it is.

"We'll be working in the basin for about six weeks, starting August 21," said John Vaccaro, 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 allowing their wells' levels to be measured.

"Well owners play a big part in getting an accurate assessment," Vaccaro said. "Information from their wells is the cornerstone in estimating total ground- water availability for all residents of the basin."

The USGS field crew of about 20 will begin measurements August 21 and will continue through September 29.

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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