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Skagit River basin studies

Science and analysis are the basis of our decision-making in the Skagit River basin:

  • We based the Skagit River basin instream flow rule on fish studies.
  • Groundwater studies help us determine where and how much mitigation is needed to offset the impacts on streams from new water uses.
  • Examining potential mitigation and water supply options supports our ongoing search for viable long-term water supply solutions for future rural development.

Fish studies

The Skagit River instream flow rule was based on scientific studies conducted and peer-reviewed by third-party consultants. In June 1999, Duke Engineering and Services, Inc. issued its technical report. This report was reviewed for validity and appropriateness by Hardin-Davis, Inc. in March 2005. The 1999 Duke report is the basis for the Skagit River instream flow rule (WAC 173-503).

Groundwater studies

The United States Geological Survey, in partnership with Skagit County Public Works, Skagit County PUD No. 1, and Ecology, has studied groundwater conditions in the lower Skagit River basin and developed a groundwater flow model. The studies and model are intended to understand the physical system and evaluate the effects of potential groundwater withdrawals and consumptive use on streamflow in four tributary sub-basins (the east fork and mainstem of Nookachamps Creek, Fisher Creek, and Carpenter Creek).

Water solution studies