The State of Washington Water Research Center recently led an effort to collect and synthesize available data and information about water supply and demand in the Skagit Basin (WRIAs 3 and 4). This synthesis was developed in response to a request by the Washington State Legislature Joint Task Force on Water Supply. The research team was comprised of researchers from Washington State University, the University of WashingtonHDR Engineering, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The final product is this Story Map Series website, a synthesis of published science and technical knowledge of the Skagit hydrologic system. Virtually all maps and graphics on the website are interactive to provide multiple perspectives on data.

The Skagit River basin comprises a complex web of water sources, flows, and stocks, whose hydrological cycle is seasonally dynamic and climate dependent. Winter snowpack in the mountains, groundwater aquifers in the river corridors, and lakes and reservoirs all contribute to the complex hydrology of the system. The watersheds hydrological system provides myriad uses and values, from ecosystem services exemplified by its role as salmon and steelhead habitat, to the provision of municipal and rural domestic water for Skagitonians and irrigation water to produce crops for Washington State and the world.

Because of the complex nature of this synthesis: collating, assessing, and interpreting data and information on surface water availability and use, groundwater availability and use, agricultural, municipal and residential demand, as well as fish habitat, and information on flow regulation (the Instream Flow Rule and how hydropower facilities impact downstream flow), the team used an ESRI Story Map Series rather than a traditional pdf format. The team also identified Knowledge Gaps that are potentially valuable for clarifying useful future research pursuits in the Story Map Series.

Working closely with the Legislature Joint Task Force on Water Supply and a smaller advisory group, the team is currently scoping research plans to fill some of the knowledge gaps, and from 2022-2023 will be conducting further research.

The suggested citation for this website is:

Jonathan Yoder, Siddharth Chaudhary, Brittany Duarte, Correigh Greene, Jordan Jobe, Gabe LaHue, Cindy Maroney, Guillaume Mauger, Harriet Morgan, Julie Padowski, Kirti Rajagopalan, Crystal Raymond, Matthew Rogers, Nathan Rossman, Navdeep Singh, Britta Timpane-Padgham, Chad Wiseman, Jason Won. 2021. Skagit Water Supply and Demand Synthesis. Story Map Series Prepared for the State of Washington Joint Legislative Task Force on Water Supply.