With groundwater supplies in dire straits, Columbia Basin communities mobilize together to preserve their future

Lincoln County, WA is at the heart of efforts by local residents and community leaders who have formed the Columbia Basin Sustainable Water Coalition, supported by the Lincoln County Conservation District. They are tackling a decades-old trend of dwindling groundwater and charting a secure future for this important agriculture region.
A diagram from the US Geological Service showing the massive depth of ancient aquifers in the Columbia Plateau, illustrating how deep wells must go to find water.
Drilling ever deeper to find water in the ancient Columbia Plateau aquifer layers: the Grand Ronde is the most extensive of the three major formations, with over 85% of the total volume of the Columbia River Basalt Group, reaching depths up to 8,000 feet below sea level. This illustrates how deep area water purveyors must place wells to access precious groundwater.
Photograph of wheat field and harvester
This year’s wheat harvest on land farmed by the Warden Hutterian Brethren was down 40%.

Helping build infrastructure is the key for small rural communities to have a sustainable future.

Long-term, the coalition’s work may complement and provide mutual benefit with other regional efforts such as the Moses Lake Watershed Council and the Odessa Groundwater Replacement Program.



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