The water resources are critical to supporting the ecosystem of
these basins including maintenance of habitat for fish, birds and
other wildlife. The water resources are also used for many other
purposes including drinking water for people, operations of businesses,
quality of life, and economic development. Managing the water resources
involves making policy decisions that reflect the values of society
on the best allocation of the water resources, and managing their
use to minimize impacts on the natural ecosystem. These decisions, informed by the Phase 2
Technical Assessments, and the group discussion efforts of Phase 3,
will form the WRIA 54 Watershed Plan. This Plan should be submitted for approval by WRIA 54
Planning Unit by the middle of 2008.
In order to make water resource management decisions, the physical
dynamics of the watershed need to be understood, which is accomplished
through technical studies. Every state-sponsored watershed planning
effort conducts a Phase 2 Level 1 Technical Assessment
in which the existing information is compiled for use by stakeholders,
to identify any data gaps that may inhibit the development of a good
watershed plan, and to form the basis of decisions. The WRIA 54 Draft Level 1 Assessment was
released by TetraTech/KCM and GeoEngineers Inc. in July, 2006 for public comment.
The public comment period for the Draft Technical Assessment Report will end on October 27, 2006.