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The Dalles Municipal Watershed in Wasco County includes up of three groundwater wells and at least two surface water sources. Located near Mt. Hood at only a forty-five minute to an hour distance the volcano provides snow melt and rainfall to flow down the many rivers near it such as Dog River, Crow Creek, and Mill Creek.

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Wasco County is part of the Pacific Northwest located next to the Columbia River. It is made up of over 25,000 residents and eight towns that include the Dalles, Moiser, Dufur, Maupin, Antelope, Shaniko, Tygh Valley, and Wamic/Pine Hollow (Wasco County, 2022). This county has many bodies of water, such as the Columbia River, the Deschutes River, Celilo Falls, Lake Bonneville, and Pine Hollow Reservoir. This county gets its name from the Wasco or Wascopam tribe near the Columbia River in the Dalles. It is home to deer, salmon, coyotes, black bear, American beaver and bobcats. The water is collected and stored in the back of the the Dallas Dam, one of the largest hydropower dams in the US, that was built in 1967 and has the storage to fill up to 267 million gallons of water (City of The Dalles, PWD, 2022). This water serves as a water source for at least eleven thousand people. The dam was built with the intent to help with fish passage, irrigation, navigation, recreation and many other uses to help support the gorge. Much like many neighboring counties. Wasco has been experiencing drought conditions over the past few years. The average rainfall for the area has only been 25-75%, and the streamflow has only been calculated to be 64% for this year. Wasco county is an area that focuses heavily on agriculture and farming practices. Farmers rely on rainfall to water their crops, such as cherries, pears, apples, and grapes. As well as with the upkeep of their land that many animals rely to graze on. With the decrease of streamflow, it is affecting the organisms that live in the streams and rivers such as fish and salmon, who are left with a decreased habitat and even change the amount of oxygen in the water affecting the quality of life for these underwater organisms. Many residents depend on wells in order to get water for domestic and other purposes. Recently well water-levels have started to decline and residents have been left with less and less water. The main reasons being well construction practices and reduction in aquifer recharge (Derek Wiley, 2020). Another major reason is a lot of the wells were built long ago and leakage is due to happen at some point. Residents have resorted to rationing their water use and even using micro-sprinklers to water their yards and farms (Derek Wiley, 2020). This is clearly affecting the quality of life for the human population who are having to take extra time deciding what to use the water that they do have on and the ecosystem around them that is receiving less water because of the low amount of water production that is no longer being distributed to it. Wasco County is most known for its large dam in the Dalles where salmon are constantly surrounding it, seeing they use the Columbia River lay their eggs. However this dam that sits in the Columbia River generates a lot of heat during its use that usually sits and pools at the bottom and back of the river. Which is home to many local fish and most importantly the salmon who are already on the endangered species list (USGS, 2023). Fish need an average temperature of 44-67 degrees and currently they have been exceeding 71 degrees (Goodwin Cole, 2021). These salmon are vital to their ecosystem given they travel from the ocean to freshwater areas carrying different types of nutrients beneficial to the new areas they are traveling.

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