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News Release

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


Release: June 11, 2003
Contact:
Steve Sumioka
253-428-3600, ext. 2645

John Clemens
253-428-3600, ext. 2635

Island County Gets Ground-Water Results

[Note: The report can be viewed on the Web at http://pubs.water.usgs.gov/wri034101/.]

Island County water managers get some help in keeping the drinking water flowing, thanks to a study of ground-water recharge on Whidbey and Camano Islands. Results of the study are presented in a report released today by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Island County Health Department.

Ground water is the main source of drinking water for Whidbey and Camano Islands. The islands' scenic beauty and low rainfall have made them a popular residential and recreational area. But as population and tourism increase, island communities are increasingly concerned about having enough clean drinking water.

Ground water is the main source of drinking water for Whidbey and Camano Islands. The islands' scenic beauty and low rainfall have made them a popular residential and recreational area. But as population and tourism increase, island communities are increasingly concerned about having enough clean drinking water.

Results of the study will help county and state agencies make planning and management decisions. As an additional benefit, results from the study can likely be applied to other islands in Puget Sound.

USGS scientists used two different methods to estimate the recharge on the two islands. One method used a computer-based water budget program that calculated recharge from data on the hydrogeology and climate of the islands. The other method looked at the chloride in the ground water and in precipitation to estimate how much rainwater has passed into the aquifer, bringing with it some of the chloride from the atmosphere.

The report, "Estimating Ground-Water Recharge from Precipitation on Whidbey and Camano Islands, Island County, Washington, Water Years 1998 and 1999," by S.S. Sumioka and H.H. Bauer, is published as U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 03-4101. The report can be viewed on the Web at http://pubs.water.usgs.gov/wri034101/ . Copies can be purchased from the U.S. Geological Survey, Information Services, Box 25286, Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225-0286, telephone 303-202-4200.

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