Watershed Management photo identifier

Watershed Management

Palouse -WRIA 34

This page is being maintained as an archive of past information and will not be updated.

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Grant funds expended and/or projected through June 2015


STATUS (November 2011) – The Palouse Watershed Planning Group is not currently operating with grant funding under Chapter 90.82 RCW, and has not met for several years.  However, the Palouse Basin Aquifer Committee (PBAC) has been very active in the Pullman/Moscow area, primarily focused on groundwater management.  PBAC is working with the City of Pullman to conduct a monitoring well installation project that is funded with a capital grant from the FY-12/13 allocation of watershed planning grant funds.

Phase 4 - None Watershed Planning Capital Grant - Groundwater Monitoring Well Installation and Monitoring (PBAC/City of Pullman)


The Palouse watershed planning group started Phase 4 in January 2008. They are on schedule to complete their detailed implementation plan by December 2008. Noteworthy elements of the detailed implementation plan include:

  • Recommendations for instream flows and permit exempt wells in the North Fork Palouse basin.

  • Prioritization of the Pullman-Washington State University (WSU) Water Reuse Project.

  • A ground water data framework project with the Palouse Basin Aquifer Committee (PBAC).

To improve water supplies, the planning group completed the “Palouse Aquifer Enhanced Recharge Feasibility Project” (Golder 2008) on Kamiak Butte.  The project did not lead to a recommendation for construction, but did provide valuable information on hydrogeological characteristics.  Ecology, acting on the planning group’s recommendation, is contributing over $1 million to the City of Pullman and WSU for their water reuse project, to ease demand on the declining Grande Ronde aquifer.

In 2008, Palouse watershed planning group members contributed to a very successful Annual Palouse Water Summit in Moscow, Idaho.  The Palouse watershed has significant groundwater challenges.  Area aquifer levels have been declining more than a foot per year for many years.  Recent efforts have been aimed at improving the groundwater monitoring network and identifying options for sustainable regional water supplies, especially for the growing university communities of Pullman, Washington and Moscow, Idaho.  In 2010, PBAC commissioned the “Palouse Ground Water Basin Framework Project” Report which was published in January 2011.

The Framework project compiled all known and existing groundwater research, evaluated the data, identified data gaps and provided recommendations for future work.

Instream flow status

The planning group completed stream flow recommendations and included them in their watershed plan for the Tucannon River and Asotin Creek. The group gathered flow and habitat data on several other streams in the watershed.  They worked with Ecology and the Department of Fish and Wildlife to collaborate in completing a final watershed-wide stream management recommendation for rule-making.

Planning Documents

Links, publications, studies, data

Please send additions or corrections to Chris Anderson, (360) 407-6634.



Plan Website - Palouse Conservation District

WRIA 34 Status:

  • Optional elements: water quality, instream flows.
  • Watershed planning phases 1-3 complete.
  • Currently in Phase 4: Implementation.