Palouse Basin Aquifer Committee release 2013 water usage figures

MOSCOW, ID - The depletion of the Palouse Basin Aquifer is a concern for some local environmental groups, but the latest water usage numbers show a step in the right direction.

The 2013 Palouse Basin Aquifer Committee report shows that 2.6 billion gallons of water was pumped to the cities of Pullman, Moscow, Colfax, and well as both universities on the Palouse. That's a one-percent decrease from 2012.

Palouse Basin Aquifer Committee Member, Paul Kimmell said it's a small change, but if you look back over the last 20 years, water usage has decrease 15.5%.

"Intuitively, you think, 'Water consumption must have gone up, we have more people here.' said Kimmell. "But really, we've fixing infrastructure, we fixed leaks, we've installed more conservation devices."

When comparing the 2012 and 2013 pumping levels, Colfax had the most significant change with a 5.6% drop, and the University of Idaho showed the largest increase at 2.9%.