The Palouse Basin Aquifer Committee is here to ensure long-term, quality water supply for the Palouse Basin region.

The primary role of PBAC is to encourage the member entities to implement the Palouse Basin Groundwater Management Plan, enacted in 1992. Additional roles involve education and information exchange, monitoring of pumping and groundwater levels, and funding of groundwater system research.

Working together


PBAC membership consists of representatives from Pullman and Moscow, City of Palouse, Whitman and Latah counties, Washington State University and the University of Idaho. Each entity has two voting members on the committee. 

Ex Officio committee members include representatives from the Washington Department of Ecology and the Idaho Department of Water Resources.

A long history


The story of human civilization is a story of fresh water. In the late 1800’s water burst from the ground in the Palouse Basin, with artesian wells producing up to 3 million gallons per day. This bountiful source of ancient fresh water led to the establishment of thriving communities on the Palouse. Since that time the water level in our precious aquifers has steadily dropped, making our current supply and use patterns unsustainable.

A new committee


The original committee, made up of representatives from UI, WSU, Pullman and Moscow, was formed in 1967 to address concerns with declining ground water levels in the area.

PBAC maintains a network of water level monitoring instruments throughout the Palouse Basin, and funds a variety of research projects aimed at gaining increased understanding of the behavior of the basin aquifer systems. PBAC also manages a central clearinghouse of technical documents related to basin hydrogeology. You can find more information on the research page.

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Groundwater management plan

The purpose of the plan is to ensure a safe supply of ground water will exist for present and future use in the Pullman-Moscow Basin.

More Information