USGS Washington Water Science Center
|U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey
Release: November 29, 2004
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A new tool designed to help guide water managers in the Colville River Watershed will be presented by scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) at a public meeting December 8 in Colville, Wash.
The new tool, a comprehensive computer model of the watershed’s ground water and rivers, was produced in cooperation with the Colville River Watershed Planning Team (Planning Team), for the 2000-2004 WRIA 59 Colville River Watershed Planning Project. Completion of the computer model marks the second phase of technical assessment work by the USGS for the Planning Team’s watershed plan, which was recently approved.
USGS hydrologists Matt Ely and Sue Kahle will present the computer model at a special WRIA 59 Planning Team meeting set for December 8, 2004, from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the new Ag/Trade Center at the Fairgrounds in Colville. The public is invited to attend the meeting.
The computer model simulates how water in the ground and on the surface interact, and how water makes its way through the watershed. The model is based on detailed information from a USGS study of the watershed’s geology and aquifers that was completed for the Planning Team in August 2003, which was the first comprehensive study of ground water in the 1,007-square-mile watershed. (See http://wa.water.usgs.gov/news/2003/news.wri034128.html for more information about the ground-water study.)
“We now have a much better understanding of how the water system in the Colville River Watershed works, and the model gives us a simulation or picture of how it works,” said USGS hydrologist Matt Ely, primary author of the report.
“The calibrated model will be used to help determine the regional impacts of ground-water use scenarios on the ground and surface waters within the watershed prior to implementation,” said Linda Kiefer, watershed coordinator for Stevens County. “The two USGS reports and ground water model completes one of the Planning Team’s main goals in the watershed planning process, which was to equip resource managers with the essential information and the tools necessary to make informed and sustainable water resource decisions.”
The report, “Conceptual Model and Numerical Simulation of the Ground-Water-Flow System in the Unconsolidated Deposits of the Colville River Watershed, Stevens County, Washington,” by D. Matthew Ely and Sue C. Kahle, is published as U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2004-5237. The report can be viewed on the Web at http://pubs.water.usgs.gov/sir20045237/ . 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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