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News Release

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

Release: March 25, 2011

Lonna Frans, 253-552-1694
Cam Apfelbeck, 206-842-2016
John Clemens, 253-552-1635

Bainbridge groundwater model looks into the future

TACOMA, Wash. -- Managers of groundwater on Bainbridge Island can use a new computer model to run "what-if" scenarios to help guide their resource decisions, according to a report by the U.S. Geological Survey. The report was prepared in cooperation with the City of Bainbridge Island.

To help resource managers understand how groundwater on the island might be affected by any future changes in land use or climate, USGS scientists used the model to simulate the potential impacts of increased groundwater pumping from 2008 to 2035. For the minimum and most likely impact conditions, water-level drawdowns generally were small--less than 10 feet--for most of the island; for maximum impact conditions, water-level drawdowns were larger.

"In all of the scenarios, from 2008 to 2035, we did not see saltwater intrusion in any of them," said Lonna Frans, USGS hydrologist and lead author of the report.

Because groundwater is the sole source of drinking water for Bainbridge Island, resource managers need data and tools to evaluate various options of managing the Island’s groundwater.

"The calibrated model will help determine the potential effects of future groundwater use scenarios on the Island’s aquifers," said Cami Apfelbeck, water resource specialist for the City of Bainbridge Island. "The groundwater model gives us the tools necessary to make informed and sustainable water resource decisions."

The report, "Conceptual Model and Numerical Simulation of the Groundwater-Flow System of Bainbridge Island, Washington," by Lonna M. Frans, Matthew P. Bachmann, Steve S. Sumioka, and Theresa D. Olsen, is published as U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2011-5021 and is available on the Web at .

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