USGS Washington Water Science Center
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WA192 - Water Resources of the Lower Elwha Indian Reservation - Completed FY1979
Problem - The Lower Elwha Tribe needs to increase its water use to supply fish-rearing facilities and new community housing. The principal existing supply is the Elwha River which is regulated by two impoundments and a large diversion above the Reservation. Additional ground water can be developed from aquifers in the river floodplain but there is immediate concern about causing saline water intrusion. More information is needed to guide future water development.
Objectives - To
Approach - Surface-water supplies will be evaluated on the basis of long-term gaging stations in the area plus periodic streamflow measurements. Flood inundation maps will be prepared for 10-, 50-, 100-, and 500-year floods. Two thermographs will be installed to determine effect of impoundments on stream temperature. Ground-water supplies will be evaluated by inventorying existing wells, periodic water level measurements and drilling a test well. Samples for QW analysis will be collected from wells and streams to determine suitability for domestic and fisheries use and evaluate potential for saline water intrusion.