Wash.Watersheds Gear Up with New Plans

Two watersheds that cover a large area of southeastern Washington have approved plans to guide how water is managed in the Palouse and Middle Snake watersheds. The next step is to put those plans into effect.

The Washington Department of Ecology, based in Spokane, has committed $300,000 to the Middle Snake Planning Unit, a local watershed committee, to pay for a hydrogeologic study to better understand groundwater and surface water relationships. The planning unit will develop a detailed implementation plan within the next year that will serve as a “roadmap” to implement the plan.

The Palouse Planning Unit is pursuing funding to learn more about the area’s groundwater challenges and explore water-storage opportunities. The planning unit is working with the city of Pullman and Washington State University to get funding to complete a water-reclamation and reuse study.

The Department of Ecology has already awarded and administered grants to local watershed planning units to support the planning process and provide technical expertise. Both the Palouse Planning Unit and the Middle Snake Planning Unit began their work in 2002.

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