ETD Watershed Program
The Watershed Program works with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), WA State, and other CCT programs to protect water resources on the Reservation through monitoring, integrated management, restoration, and enforcing Tribal Codes. In addition to working with CCT Fish & Wildlife to improve fish habitat, the ETD Watershed Program works to assure non-fish bearing surface water is high quality for cultural uses, water supply, wildlife habitat and agricultural use.
See the bottom of this page for program updates related to meetings and ongoing/upcoming projects!
Managing watershed conditions is one of the most important ways to protect water quality. ETD monitors soil and groundcover condition, provides guidance during natural resource project planning, and organizes resource and land use data into watershed management plans.
Click on the following links to learn more about the importance of watersheds and streams from the EPA: What is a watershed? (http://water.epa.gov/type/watersheds/whatis.cfm
Information about small streams (direct to: http://water.epa.gov/type/rsl/streams.cfm
Nonpoint Source Pollution Control
Nonpoint source pollution is pollution that cannot be attributed to a specific point location. Examples of nonpoint source pollution includes: sediment from improperly managed roads, crop and forest land, or eroding streams; bacteria from livestock and faulty septic systems; excess fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides.
ETD works to reduce nonpoint source pollution by administering Washington State and Tribal Hydraulic and Forest Practices Codes. The Program also applies for competitive funding through the Clean Water Act to perform restoration projects. Projects have been completed in the Little Nespelem, Omak Creek and Kartar Valley watersheds. Restoration work around Buffalo Creek will occur during Summer 2014.
In addition to administering restoration project grants through the EPA and other sources, the watershed program also works with CCT Dept. of Transportation to carry out road improvements and other components outlined in the Natural Resource Restoration Plan. On-the-ground project work in 2014 is focused in the Omak Creek watershed. Watershed improvements will occur across the Reservation for the next ten years. Check back for updates!
Wetland inventory and monitoring is a relatively new component of the Watershed Program. Wetlands provide many important functions, including water storage, wildlife habitat and support for a variety of culturally important plants. Wetland program capacity is supported by the EPA to stop the ongoing loss of wetland acreage. Current wetland program activities include inventor
y, developing monitoring procedures, assisting with natural resource project planning and exploring funding sources for program and restoration activities.
Click on the following links to learn more about wetlands:
Wetland functions (http://water.epa.gov/type/wetlands/outreach/upload/functions-values.pdf)
Threats to wetlands (http://water.epa.gov/type/wetlands/outreach/upload/threats.pdf)
The Colville Confederated Tribes is one of the few tribal governments with water quality standards, and has over 20 years of water quality data. Measuring water quality against a set of standards helps prioritize restoration efforts and detect changes. Three technicians collect nutrients, bacteria stream flow and snow pack data from approximately 70 streams each year. Technicians also monitor safety of Owhi Lake and Twin Lakes Dams.
Current and Upcoming Projects
Buffalo Creek restoration– culvert replacements, road drainage improvements, crossing stabilization and fencing to protect shoreline from cows and feral horses.
Omak Creek watershed– road drainage improvements, culvert replacement and road decommissioning to reduce pollution and improve water quality and habitat in Omak Creek.