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News Release

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


Release: October 19, 2009

Contact:
Mark Savoca
253-552-1660

John Clemens
253-552-1635

Study: Groundwater in Skagit Delta Flows To Bay

Groundwater in the shallow aquifer of the Skagit River Delta area generally flows away from the river and toward Skagit Bay and Swinomish Channel, according to results of a study published today by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

The study was done in cooperation with Skagit County, Washington Department of Ecology, and Skagit County Public Utility District No. 1 to determine areas in southwestern Skagit County where groundwater withdrawals might impact streamflows in the river.

To get a good picture of where groundwater flows in the Skagit River Delta area, USGS scientists measured the water levels in 34 wells every three months for one year. The scientists analyzed the collected data to draw maps of water levels and flow directions.

Scientists found that groundwater levels followed a pattern typical of shallow wells in western Washington in which levels rise during the wet winter months and fall during drier months of the year. Scientists also found that groundwater levels in the eastern part of the study area were influenced by the level of the Skagit River.

The report, "Shallow Groundwater Movement in the Skagit River Delta Area, Skagit County, Washington," by Mark E. Savoca, Kenneth H. Johnson, and Elisabeth T. Fasser, is published as U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2009-5208. It is available from the Web at http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2009/5208/ .

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