Watershed Management photo identifier

Watershed Management

Hangman (Latah) - WRIA 56

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

link to WRIA 57 link to WRIA 54 link to WRIA 34 link to all WRIAs WRIA 56, Hangman











Grant funds expended and/or projected through June 2015



Spokane and Whitman counties adopted the final Hangman (Latah) Creek Watershed Management Plan in September 2005. Phase 4 implementation started in October 2006, and the detailed implementation plan was completed in early 2008. Some of the plan recommendations include:

  • Addressing compliance and enforcement of water rights and claims.
  • Developing a drought management plan.
  • Moving forward on instream flow rule recommendations.
  • Investigating water rights trust and banking.
  • Evaluating policies to limit the maximum daily withdrawal of domestic exempt wells to less than 5000 gallons per day.
  • Adding further gaging and monitoring of both surface and ground water.
  • Changing a water right source from surface to ground water where feasible.
  • Restoring riparian habitat.
  • Collaborating with Ecology and others on the TMDL development and implementation.
  • Bolstering water conservation.
The planning group partnered with WRIAs 34 and 54 to conduct a geophysical orientation survey on the West Plains, where the water table is declining.  After completing the detailed implementation plan in early 2008, the planning group moved forward on its stream gaging strategy.   They installed a stream gage at the state line and in mid watershed, worked on a habitat restoration strategy, and took part in developing TMDLs for Hangman Creek.  They also completed a stream restoration project at Rock Creek in Rockford.

The Town of Rockford received funding to replace its leaky water storage tank, and upgrade its irrigation system to improve water conservation.  The WRIA 56 group has more recently conducted groundwater monitoring including installation of several wells for long term data as well as sampling for water quality and age-dating.  That study has been extended into the lower valley and into the West Plains area and is being coordinated with WRIA 54 monitoring activities.

Instream flow status

The planning group completed an instream flow study to evaluate stream flow conditions primarily for fisheries.  They developed flow recommendations for three levels of habitat protection, but could not achieve consensus before plan adoption.

The planning group continued to work on instream flow recommendations during 2008, and is closer to reaching consensus.  They have agreed conceptually to a minimum instream flow, but want to develop recommendations for managing groundwater (specifically domestic exempt wells) before requesting Ecology to begin rulemaking.

Significant growth is anticipated in Lower Hangman, within Spokane County, and increased use of domestic exempt wells for single and group homes is anticipated.  Given the absence of any well monitoring network in the watershed and lack of data about groundwater, the planning group sought funds to:

  • Establish a well monitoring network.
  • Complete a detailed water supply and demand analysis.
  • Complete groundwater inventory and mapping.

Much of this work has been completed or is currently in process.


Outside links, publications, studies, data

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

Plan Website - Spokane Basin Watershed Planning

WRIA 56 Status

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

Spokane River Basin