ABOUT THE COMMITTEE

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PBAC membership consist of two representatives from the cities of Pullman and Moscow, Whitman and Latah counties, and Washington State University and the University of Idaho. Ex-Officio committee members include representatives from the Washington Department of Ecology and the Idaho Department of Water Resources. Each entity typically appoints an elected official or administrator (city council member, county commissioner), as well as an individual who serves the entity in a technical capacity (director, engineer).

Meeting Information

PBAC meetings are typically held on the third Thursdays of the month at 2:00PM.
Meetings are available in person and virtually via Zoom, or can be viewed later on YouTube.
Agendas are made available Tuesday prior to the meeting.

A Long History

1890-1967

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

1967-Today

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.

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PBAC's Goals

These goals are from the 1992 Ground Water Management Plan:

• To provide for future beneficial use of the basin ground water without depleting the basin aquifers while protecting the quality of the water.
• To promote a program of public education and awareness regarding basin ground water management issues.
• To promote careful monitoring and analysis of the ground water level and usage data for the basin.
• To continue to explore possible supplemental water sources for anticipated and potential future water use in the basin.
• To review and make recommendations on all water use or land use applications whose anticipated impact on the ground water system potentially lies outside the stated goals of the plan or policies adopted by the member entities.
• To review and make recommendations relative to the development of an agreement for water transfers across the state line.

 

The goals of the Committee have been reviewed and revised several times since 1992. As of 2015, additional goals were added: 

• Consistent with the Palouse Basin Groundwater Management Plan, develop and implement a balanced basin wide Water Supply and Use Program by 2025.

• Create and maintain an action plan for aquifer system sustainability, enhancement and/or alternate water supply development.
• Direct research and implement pilot projects necessary to understand the basin hydrogeology in a manner sufficient to support the Water Supply and Use Program and the affiliated supply projects.
• Encourage and facilitate entities in meeting their specific pumping, conservation, efficient use, water recycling and other goals.

• Review the Palouse Basin Groundwater Management Plan.
• Educate entities and the public on the state of the basin water supply and the status of PBAC’s mission and goals.
• Maintain harmonious and effective working relationships across the state line to fairly meet the needs of all entities.
• Revisit the goals and mission statement annually.

Committee Members

City of Pullman
  • Cara Haley (Chair)
  • cara.haley@pullman-wa.gov
  •  509-338-3281
  • Shawn Kohtz
  • shawn.kohtz@pullman-wa.gov
  •  509-338-3217
  • Eileen Macoll, City Council
  • eileen.macoll@pullman-wa.gov
  •  509-338-3220
Walter Steed Icon-min
  • Tyler Palmer (Vice-Chair)
  • tpalmer@ci.moscow.id.us
  • 208-883-7096
  • Michael Parker
  • mparker@ci.moscow.id.us
  •  208-882-3122
  • Gina Taruscio, City Council
  • gtaruscio@ci.Moscow.id.us
  •  208-883-7151
Whitmancountylogo
  • Mark Storey
  • mark.storey@co.whitman.wa.us
  •  509-397-4622
  • Tom Handy
  • tomhandy@whitmancounty.net
  •   509-397-5249
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  • Tom Lamar
  • tlamar@latah.id.us
  • 208-883-7208
  • Paul Kimmell
  •  paul.kimmell@avistacorp.com
  •   509-592-7801
WSU Icon-min
  • Jason Sampson
  • sampsonj@wsu.edu
  •  509-335-9564
  • Jeff Lannigan
  • lannigan@wsu.edu
  •  509-335-7221
Idaho Icon-min
  • Rusty Vineyard
  • vineyard@uidaho.edu
  •  208-885-9212
  • Timothy Link
  • tlink@uidaho.edu
  •  208-885-9465

ex oficio members

  • Michelle Richman (ex oficio)
  • michelle.richman@idwr.idaho.gov
  •  208-762-2809
  • Idaho Department of Water Resources
  • Patrick Cabbage (ex oficio)
  • pcab461@ecy.wa.gov
  •  509-329-3509
  • Washington Department of Ecology

PBAC staff

  • Céline Acord
  • Executive Director
  • celine@uidaho.edu
  • Steve Robischon
  • Technical Advisor
  • stever@uidaho.edu