Department of Ecology
Project: Initial Watershed Assessments
Location: Snohomish, Deschutes, and Walla Walla
During the 1990s, Ecology administered a program to conduct initial watershed
assessments in various WRIAs, which correspond to groundwater or surface
water basins. The goal of this program was to evaluate the availability
of water resources in key areas and to define the health of the WRIAs
based on critical indicators of water availability. PGG was selected to
conduct the initial watershed assessments for the Snohomish, Deschutes,
and Walla Walla basins.
The assessments required an interdisciplinary approach and the ability
to analyze large amounts of data.
We coordinated a team of water resource consultants to evaluate climate,
groundwater hydrology, streamflows, fish, and water quality. Our role
included characterizing the climate and hydrogeology, evaluating groundwater
resources in each WRIA, summarizing water rights allocations (including
claims and applications), and estimating actual water use. We also prepared
detailed open-file and brief public-outreach reports that presented our
findings and recommendations.
Based on the study findings, we identified areas requiring further investigation
and recommended policy options for managing groundwater in these WRIAs.