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Elsa Bowen, District Manager

The Lincoln County Conservation District (LCCD) was awarded a federal Bureau of Reclamation WaterSMART grant for municipal water sources and other stakeholders to build on efforts to resolve water quantity issues in the Mid-Columbia Basin.


“Lincoln County cities, residential well users, and rural livestock producers have experienced declining water and well rehydration has shown little to no improvement on future supplies,” says Lincoln County Commissioner Mark Stedman.


As grant sponsor, LCCD will represent a coalition of stakeholders in a new group called the Columbia Basin Sustainable Water Coalition (CBSWC) made up of municipalities, counties, economic development councils, agricultural groups, Washington Department of Commerce, Department of Health, Ecology, and others.


The $100,000 WaterSMART grant will refine the CBSWC organizationally and develop project alternatives in the area including groundwater monitoring in those areas without monitoring.


“I think Benjamin Franklin said it best ‘When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.’ We know the aquifer is declining through years of well monitoring. This grant is to find alternative projects before we experience dry wells,” said LCCD Manager, Elsa Bowen.


The CBSWC’s work builds on studies done by the Columbia Basin Groundwater Management Area (GWMA) and plans to collect data representing the experiences of municipal water systems in the Basin. The CBSWC is to add information from municipal water systems to the larger effort in the Basin seeking to preserve groundwater levels.


The CBSWC meets monthly and stakeholders are welcome. Contact Elsa Bowen at



Overhead Map of the Greater Columbia Basin Watershed

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