USGS Washington Water Science Center
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The Issue: Since 1952 water diverted from the Columbia River has been used to irrigate parts of the Pasco basin in eastern Washington. As a result of the surface-water irrigation, groundwater levels generally have risen in the area. The increases in groundwater fluxes and groundwater in storage have created a need to better understand the flow system before and after the start of irrigation to assist in the management of the groundwater resources.
How USGS will help: The USGS is conducting a major study of the eastern Pasco basin groundwater-flow system to provide current, complete scientific information for making sound decisions about managing this important resource.