USGS Washington Water Science Center
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Hydrogeology of the Little Spokane River Basin, Washington - Completed FY2013
Problem - Groundwater is an important resource for domestic, commercial, and agricultural usage in the Little Spokane River Basin, and groundwater discharge helps maintain late-summer and early-fall streamflow (baseflow) in many area streams. Consequently, as the population grows, and commercial and agricultural activity increase, so does the demand for groundwater. However, the quantity of usable groundwater, and the potential effects of future natural conditions and anthropogenic activities on groundwater resources, as well as potential impacts to streamflow, are not well understood in the basin. Additional information is required to help ensure the long-term sustainability of the area's groundwater resources.
Objectives - The objective of this study is to characterize the hydrogeology of the Little Spokane River Basin. This assessment will provide part of the information needed for an eventual groundwater flow model of the basin.
Relevance and Benefits - This study directly supports USGS mission and goals related to water-resource issues identified in the USGS Science Strategy. The study addresses groundwater availability and sustainability, a priority issue under the Water Census of the United States as outlined in Facing Tomorrow's challenges: USGS Science in the Decade 2007-2017. This study also will provide resource managers and stakeholders in the Little Spokane River Basin with the information necessary for the eventual evaluation of hydrologic and anthropogenic impacts on groundwater and surface-water resources. This study is appropriate for inclusion in the USGS Cooperative Water Program because it will provide information that advances understanding of hydrologic processes, and it will contribute to the future development of a regional-scale assessment of groundwater- and surface-water interaction in the Little Spokane River Basin.
Approach - Available groundwater data will be compiled and evaluated to characterize the hydrogeology of the Little Spokane River Basin. The data will include drillers' logs; information describing the areal extent, thickness, and lithologic composition of aquifers and aquitards, historical groundwater levels, and geologic maps; and available groundwater level and spring records. The hydrogeologic framework will be described including descriptions of principal hydrogeologic units, their hydraulic characteristics, and movement of groundwater.