USGS Washington Water Science Center
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WA212 - Water Resources of Developed Areas in Clallam County - Completed FY1983
Problem - Land use in Clallam County has changed in recent years. Land formerly used for irrigated agriculture is now being subdivided for residential use. These changes have caused changes in the patterns of water use, stresses on the ground- and surface-water systems, and location and amount of recharge areas for the ground waters. Many irrigators without surface-water rights and land developers have turned to ground water sources for supply. In many cases the ground- and surface-water systems are so closely interrelated that development of one has a pronounced effect on the other. The increase in population of the area has caused some concern that conversion of land use from irrigated agriculture to residential development might reduce recharge to ground water, and has increased the potential for contamination of both the ground- and surface-water systems.
Objectives - The objectives are as follows: First, to inventory the present quantity and quality of surface water and ground water in the various aquifers throughout the study area. Then, to determine the effects of ground-water development on streamflow and the effects of irrigation on ground-water recharge. Finally, when possible, to identify present and potential sources of contamination and estimate the effects of those sources on water quality and availability.
Approach - This study will be conducted in 2 phases. Phase I will consist of the tabulation of existing hydrologic data and the collection of reconnaissance-type data to evaluate the current water resources conditions of the County. The magnitude and extent of special problems will be documented, and collection of specialized data in problem areas will be started. Phase II will consist of continuation of data collection in identified problem areas. It will deal with the interrelationships of ground- and surface-water (quantity and quality) by comparison of historical water levels and streamflow characteristics with recent data, and by comparison of data for different seasons of the year. The effects of changing land use patterns will be evaluated by preparing water budgets for various types and stages of development and by comparison of historic QW data with recent data. A numerical model may be used to test and evaluate various management alternatives in small known problem areas.