Now Playing:

News

News | Water | Environment | local

Drought-Resistant Pendleton Still Sees Dwindling Groundwater Supply


The intake for the City of Pendleton's aquifer recharge system takes water from the Umatilla River during higher rates of flow east of Pendleton.

The intake for the City of Pendleton's aquifer recharge system takes water from the Umatilla River during higher rates of flow east of Pendleton.

E.J. Harris/East Oregonian

Pendleton’s aquifer storage and recovery system has won plaudits from the state and been a crowning achievement for the city’s public works director, but it isn’t a silver bullet.

Despite the innovative system that allows Pendleton to funnel most of its drinking water from the Umatilla River rather than pumping it from the ground, the city’s groundwater supply has still dwindled over the years.

The numbers fluctuate depending on whether it has been a wet or dry winter, but Public Works Director Bob Patterson said groundwater levels have dropped an average of 1.4 feet per year for the past 14 years since the ASR went online.

That’s better than the average 3.5 feet per year decrease before. But the new system isn’t consistently preventing groundwater loss, much less recharging the aquifer.

Read the whole story at the East Oregonian.

More News

More OPB

Related Content