Did you notice, Moses Lake’s water quality was significantly better this year compared to previous years? The big question is: why?
There are a couple of changes that could have likely attributed to the improvement. The City of Moses Lake repaired pipes at Parker Horn below the Alder Street fill (Stratford Rd.), that were leaking and the Bureau of Reclamation increased the amount of irrigation water delivered to the Potholes Reservoir.
We cannot say for certain which had the largest effect on the lake’s water quality, but it’s likely a combination of both. There is a major difference between these two events that have occurred on Moses Lake. Fixing the pipes is a permanent fix, while the increase of water coming into Moses Lake is not consistent and can change year-to-year based on the Bureau of Reclamation’s operations and irrigation needs.
“The Bureau sent enough water through Moses Lake in 2021 to nearly replenished it three times over. This made a significant difference in the lake’s water quality, but this will always be dependent on irrigation demand and therefore can’t be relied on in future years.” – Harold Crose, Moses Lake Watershed Council Chair
While the water quality has significantly improved compared to previous years. There is still a lot more to be done in order to achieve sustainable water quality levels into the future.
Doing your part to improve the lake can start with a simple assessment of your property. Is your shoreline stable? If not, you could install structural and vegetative practices to control erosion. Are you managing your fertilizer, pesticide and irrigation water efficiently to avoid leaching chemicals into the lake? Have you maintained and pumped your septic system on a constant schedule?
As we continue to work together, these seemingly simple practices can make a big difference -- so that every year, can be as enjoyable as this one.
GCCD is here to help improve the lake’s water quality and with the help of the community it can be achieved! For technical and financial assistance contact Grant County Conservation District at (509)765-9618 or email Ron Scerbicke, GCCD Watershed Planner at Ronald-Scerbicke@conservewa.net.