Watershed Management photo identifier

Watershed Management

Lower Spokane - WRIA 54

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

link to WRIA 58 link to WRIA 53 link to WRIA 59 link to WRIA 55 link to WRIA 57 link to WRIA 34 link to WRIA 43 link to WRIA 56 link to all WRIAs WRIA 54, Lower Spokane












Grant funds expended and/or projected through June 2015


STATUS – February 2014  The Lower Spokane watershed planning group continues to be very active in implementing high priority elements of their Detailed Implementation Plan.  The group qualified for full Phase 4 implementation funding and has been awarded project implementation grants under the 13-15 biennial budget watershed planning funding allocation.

Projected grants July 2013 - June 2015

  • $80,000 Phase 4
  • $85,000 Implementation Projects


The planning group completed the Phase 2 technical report in February 2007 and a multi-purpose water storage assessment in October 2007.  The multi-purpose water storage work group did an initial screening and reviewed projected water needs.  They then directed the study to focus on the West Plains Study Area because of the declining groundwater levels and critical water needs.  The planning group initiated Phase 3 in July 2007, and formed six work groups to focus on selected issues and develop white papers that included issues, goals, objectives, and recommended actions for the planning group’s consideration.

The watershed plan was adopted by County Commissioners from Spokane and Stevens Counties.  The planning group then entered Phase 4 and developed a Detailed Implementation Plan, which was also adopted by the Commissioners.

Planning group members conducted numerous implementation actions during the first four years of Phase 4, including continuing hydrogeological analyses of the West Plains area, restoration projects, education projects, ground water/surface water interaction, aquifer delineation and development of standards for groundwater availability and sustainability determinations and working with two other Spokane-area watershed groups on joint implementation projects such as the Water Demand Forecast Model.  Current projects include continuing education, creek restoration, and a hydrogeologic framework project..

Instream Flow Status

The planning group completed an instream flow study of selected reaches of the Spokane River and toe-width measurements on Deep, Coulee, Spring, and Little Chamokane creeks.

A stakeholder work group was formed in collaboration with WRIA 55/57 to develop integrated instream flow recommendations for the main stem of the Spokane River.  The work group did not achieve full consensus on minimum instream flows for the main stem Spokane River during certain portions of the year.  However, they did agree upon flows at the Barker gage and control points to manage surface water and the Spokane Valley/Rathdrum Prairie aquifer.

The State Caucus recommendations for minimum instream flows were used as the foundation for conditions in the Section 401 water quality certification of the Avista hydroelectric dam re-license.  In 2013, after reviewing additional studies conducted by Avista under their FERC License, the State Caucus presented new/revised instream flow recommendations to the planning group.  On January 21, 2014 Ecology filed a CR-101 with the State Code Reviser’s Office to begin instream flow rule-making for the Spokane River and Spokane Valley/Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer.

Planning Documents

  • WRIA 54 The Lower Spokane River Watershed - Spokane County Water Resources page that includes links to:
    • WRIA 54 Watershed Plan Detailed Implementation Plan
    • Water Demand Forecast Model
    • West Plains Studies
    • Beaver Project Aquifer delineations
    • Groundwater monitoring

Links, publications, studies, data

Outside links, publications, studies, data

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


Plan Website - WRIA 54 The Lower Spokane River Watershed

WRIA 54 Status

  • Optional elements: water quality, instream flows, storage.
  • Watershed planning phases 1-2 complete.
  • Currently in Phase 3: Planning.

Spokane River Basin