Washington State University Focuses on Water Quantity, Quality for Today and for the Future

In *All, Water Security by AgIsAmerica

Washington State University’s research covers a myriad of water issues aimed at protecting local water quality and quantity with topics including:

  • Columbia River Basin Water Supply and Demand Reporting. The Office of Columbia River (OCR) is responsible for various conservation and water supply projects that serve eastern Washington’s economic and environmental needs. Every five years, OCR teams up with Washington’s Water Research Center (WRC) and other partners to create a water supply and demand report that’s submitted to the Washington State Legislature. This report helps government officials understand how the state’s water is being used and helps them make informed decisions about how to improve the efficiency of Washington’s water systems. This report will help ensure a healthier, plentiful water supply for all residents, farmers, and wildlife.
  • Stormwater Research and Outreach. Stormwater is a major source of pollutants entering Puget Sound, especially with recent news reports declaring that “extreme rain storms” are becoming more common in Seattle. Throughout the state, cities are now required to improve the way they manage stormwater. The Washington State University Stormwater Center is a leader in the implementation and improvement of stormwater management with unique facilities for evaluating the latest stormwater treatment techniques. Their Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) is especially helpful due to its evolving set of technologies that mitigate the impacts of stormwater runoff in ecosystems impacted by land use change.
  • Studying the impact of water on food and energy. WRC’s researchers are lead collaborators on a National Science Foundation Innovation grant through which they’ve been digging into the relationships between food, water, and energy (FEW). In the Columbia River Basin, environmental issues revolve around the competition for limited surface water to sustain irrigated agriculture, hydropower generation, and in-stream flow requirements for endangered fish populations. This project examines the intersections between FEW sectors to help understand how technology, new government policies, and better environmental management tools can be used to maintain a healthy relationship between the different aspects of Washington’s ecosystems.

These are just a few examples of ways the Washington State University is working to address the state’s water challenges. For additional ways you can help ensure these programs and others like them continue to produce real results for your community, please click here.

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