Groundwater resources of the Columbia Plateau regional aquifer system

Fact Sheet 2015-3063
By:  and 



The Columbia Plateau is a wide basalt plateau between the Cascade Range and the Rocky Mountains that covers parts of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. The climate over much of the Columbia Plateau is semiarid with precipitation ranging from 7 to 15 in/yr in the central part (Vaccaro and others, 2015), yet the area supports a $6 billion per year agricultural industry, including the production of apples, corn, grapes, hops, mint, potatoes, stone fruit, and wheat. Groundwater pumpage and surface-water diversions supply water to irrigated croplands that account for about 5 percent of the Nation’s irrigated lands. Groundwater also is the primary source of drinking water for about 1.3 million people living on the plateau.

Suggested Citation

Kahle, S.C., and Vaccaro, J.J., 2015, Groundwater resources of the Columbia Plateau Regional Aquifer System: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2015-3063, 6 p.,

ISSN: 2327-6932 (online)

ISSN: 2327-6916 (print)

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Groundwater resources of the Columbia Plateau regional aquifer system
Series title Fact Sheet
Series number 2015-3063
DOI 10.3133/fs20153063
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Washington Water Science Center
Description Report: 6 p.; HTML Document
Country United States
State Washington
Other Geospatial Columbia Plateau
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details