Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Spokane River Issues

Ron Hall

On April 14, 2004, the Spokane River was recognized as the 6th most endangered river in America (American Rivers). The objective of this piece is to "promote regional dialogs for sustaining a healthy river system while meeting the needs of a growing population" (Spokane River Forum). The Spokane River flows from Lake Coeur d'Alene in northern Idaho approximately 90 miles northwest through Spokane, Wash., before emptying into the Columbia River above Grand Coulee Dam. The river's flow is partially fed by the Spokane-Rathdrum Aquifer, which provides drinking water to 400,000 people in the region. The river is a vital part of the quality of life in its namesake city, offering riverfront trails and parks, a prized trout fishery, whitewater recreation and dramatic, natural scenery (Spokane Falls). The river is affected by crop irrigation, low flows (dams for power generation), wastewater discharges (treatment plant discharge, "cso"'s), and toxic pollution from former mining activities. CELP, Center for Justice.



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