Improving Stream Conditions
Water conservation practices and restoring river function are helping improve streamflow across the region.
Long-term data exists for only two gauges, but a newer gauge in the Tucannon River shows promising results. The Tucannon River stayed below 74 degrees Fahrenheit for a daily maximum from 2005-2021, in contrast to previous maximum temperatures in the upper 70s. The lower temperatures likely are a result of restoration projects that have set dikes back and planted the riverbanks.
Streamflow remains a challenge, primarily in the Walla Walla River watershed, where water demand for people, farms, and fish peaks in summer. In 2019, the Washington Legislature tasked the Walla Walla Basin Management Partnership and Department of Ecology to develop a 30-year strategic plan for water management in the Walla Walla Basin. That plan, the Walla Walla Water 2050, was released in June 2021 and is being implemented by partners in Washington and Oregon.