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News Release

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

Release: February 21, 2005
John Vaccaro

John Clemens

Odessa Aquifer Study To Begin

A ground-water study that will look at wells in the Odessa subarea aquifer of the Columbia Basin Project is set to begin this week, and well owners are asked to play an important part in the study.

The USGS work is being conducted for the Bureau of Reclamation, which is conducting a special study in response to public concern about the declining aquifer. The study will investigate the possibility of continuing development of the Columbia Basin Project to deliver project water to lands currently using ground water in the Odessa subarea.

USGS field crews are planning to measure water levels in over 200 water wells throughout the Odessa subarea 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 three weeks, starting February 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 4 scientists will begin measurements February 21 and will continue through March 10.

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.

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