Despite the innovative system that allows Pendleton to funnel most of its drinking water from the Umatilla River rather than pumping it from the ground, the city’s groundwater supply has still dwindled over the years.
The numbers fluctuate depending on whether it has been a wet or dry winter, but Public Works Director Bob Patterson said groundwater levels have dropped an average of 1.4 feet per year for the past 14 years since the ASR went online.
That’s better than the average 3.5 feet per year decrease before. But the new system isn’t consistently preventing groundwater loss, much less recharging the aquifer.
Read the whole story at the East Oregonian.