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News Release

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

Release: July 28, 2003
Sue Kahle
253-428-3600, ext. 2616

John Clemens
253-428-3600, ext. 2635

Results On Tap For Colville Watershed Planners

[Note: The report can be viewed on the Web at .]

The USGS released today the results of a study of ground-water resources in the Colville River Watershed, the first comprehensive study of ground water in the 1,007-square-mile watershed. Ground water is the main source of drinking water in the watershed.

The study, done in cooperation with the Colville River Watershed Planning Team for the 2000-2004 WRIA 59 Colville River Watershed Planning Project, provides the team with the scientific foundation for their watershed planning work.

The WRIA, or "Water Resource Inventory Area," is one of the 62 areas in Washington defined under the state"s Watershed Management Act. Under the Act, local organizations join in long-term planning of their area"s water resources. Throughout most of WRIA 59, rivers and streams are now closed to any additional water withdrawals during most seasons.

"The information from this study can help watershed planners in a number of ways," said Sue Kahle, USGS hydrologist and lead author of the study. "The information may help planners locate previously unused ground water, identify potential aquifer storage and recovery areas, and explore additional uses of ground water in selected parts of the watershed. The information is also the foundation for building a model of the area"s ground-water system, to use as a watershed management tool."

Between August and November 2001, USGS scientists and representatives of the WRIA 59 planning team inventoried 362 wells, measured water levels, and gathered other well data to identify two principal aquifers in the watershed. The scientists also measured streamflow in the Colville River to determine reaches that gain or lose water to the aquifers as it flows over valley deposits. Total withdrawals from rivers, streams, and ground water in 2001 was estimated at 9,340 million gallons.

For information on Washington's watershed planning process, see .

The report, "Water Resources of the Ground-Water System in the Unconsolidated Deposits of the Colville River Watershed, Stevens County, Washington," by Sue C. Kahle, Claire I. Longpré, Raymond R. Smith, Steven S. Sumioka, Anni M. Watkins, and David L. Kresch, is published as U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 03-4128. The report can be viewed on the Web at . Copies can be purchased from the U.S. Geological Survey, Information Services, Box 25286, Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225-0286, telephone 303-202-4200.

The USGS serves the nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life. To receive USGS news releases go to

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