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Water Resources of the Tulalip Indian Reservation

Project Summaries

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9722-9EM - Water Resources of the Tulalip Indian Reservation, Snohomish County, Washington - Completed FY2004

Problem - Future increases in population and development of the Tulalip Indian Reservation and neighboring areas would lead to increased pumping of ground water both on and off the Reservation. Increased pumpage in coastal and inland wells may decrease baseflows of streams and could affect fish-rearing operations in the Tulalip Creek watershed.

Objectives - The objectives of the study are to evaluate the current ground-water and surface-water resources of the Tulalip Indian Reservation and to estimate some of the possible effects of increased development on those resources.

Relevance and Benefits - Proposal elements with significant scientific value for Washington State include 1) improving ground-water recharge estimates using the chloride mass-balance method, and 2) improving knowledge of the subsurface hydrogeology of the study area. A more detailed explanation of their significance follows:

1. Independent estimates of ground-water recharge using the chloride mass-balance method provides information that can be used to help refine regression equations that are currently used to estimate ground-water recharge in the Puget Sound lowlands of Washington State. Improved estimates of aquifer recharge is key to estimating long-term ground-water availability.

2. Improving knowledge of the subsurface hydrogeology in the study area will help in the future with the construction of a detailed hydrogeologic framework for the Puget Sound Lowlands. A detailed framework will help to better understand ground-water availability in the Puget Sound Lowlands.

Approach - To evaluate the current water resources, the water budget for the study area developed by Drost (1983) will be updated by improving estimates of ground-water recharge, by determining current streamflow conditions, and by incorporating current water-use estimates. Hydrogeology maps will be developed that show the extent of the aquifers beneath the Reservation. To evaluate possible effects of development on the water resources, the possible future ground-water use will be estimated.

WA177 - Water Resources of the Tulalip Indian Reservation - Completed FY1979

Problem - The Tulalip Indians wish to develop a reservation-wide water supply system. Surface waters require treatment and are subject to competing uses; ground-water supplies are often undesirable because of low yield or water quality problems. Expansion of fisheries resources is hindered by lack of Sw data. environmental values of lakes may be endangered by development of timber and recreational resources. Water use data are needed to plan and manage development of water resources.

Objectives - To describe the water resources of the reservation in terms of quality, and areal distribution so that the Tulalip Indians will have the information necessary to properly develop, manage, and conserve their water resources.

Approach - Construct two surface-water gaging stations and operate them for three years, make monthly streamflow measurements at about 15 sites, make periodic determinations of lake level and water quality at several lakes, inventory wells, establish and observation well network, and make a geologic reconnaissance; collect data and make calculations on water use; drill two test wells in favorable areas and conduct aquifer tests; evaluate the water quality of ground water, streams, and lakes.

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