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News Release

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


Release: April 14, 2011
Contact:
Matt Ely
253-552-1622

John Clemens
253-552-1635

Upper Kittitas Aquifer Study Begins Next Week

[Editors: USGS project Web page is http://wa.water.usgs.gov/projects/kittitasgw/ .]

TACOMA, Wash. -- A groundwater study that will look at flows in Upper Kittitas County aquifers is set to begin next week, and well owners are asked to play an important part in the study.

An ongoing USGS Yakima River Basin study indicates that groundwater and surface water are interconnected, but the aquifers and other geologic layers beneath the upper part of Kittitas County are not well understood. In cooperation with Kittitas County and the Washington State Department of Ecology, the USGS is conducting a major study of the western Kittitas County groundwater-flow system to provide current, complete scientific information for making good decisions about managing this important resource.

USGS field crews are planning to measure water levels in over 100 water wells throughout the upper part of the county 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 April 20," said Matt Ely, USGS hydrologist and project chief for the study.

To get an accurate, scientific assessment of the basin's groundwater, 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," Ely said. "Information from their wells is the cornerstone in estimating total ground-water availability for all residents of the upper county."

The USGS field crew of about 5 scientists will begin measurements this week and will continue through May 13. More information about the USGS study is available on-line at http://wa.water.usgs.gov/projects/kittitasgw/ .


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