Water

Upper Columbia River water

Fish need clean, abundant water

Areas east of the Cascade Mountains average only about 8 inches of rain a year. Our ridgetops and high-elevation forests are largely intact, and are the primary source of snowpack, which feeds cool, clean water to our rivers, especially during the summer. Making sure this water stays clean and abundant for fish downstream is one of the priorities in the upper Columbia. Several streams are listed as impaired because the water is too warm and some areas experience drastically low flows in the summer when water is withdrawn to irrigate farms. The trends in the region during the past several decades indicate that low summer flow will continue to be a challenge in the region.

Indicator data

Water Quality

What does this indicator mean?

WATER QUALITY INDEX – CLICK >> TO OPEN LEGEND

Water Quantity

What does this indicator mean?

WATER QUANTITY – CLICK >> TO OPEN LEGEND

Visit How we measure for background about this data, and our Salmon Data Portal for original source data behind the indicator charts and graphs used throughout this site.