Dungeness Off-Channel Reservoir

City of Sequim's Interest in the Project

The Dungeness Off-Channel Reservoir project is a long-term collaboration by water resource stakeholders in the Sequim area concerned with the joint management of water supplies for people, farms, and fish. Clallam County leads the reservoir work group since 2015 which also includes City of Sequim, Dungeness Water Users Association (irrigators), Clallam Conservation District, Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe, Washington Departments of Ecology, Fish & Wildlife, and Natural Resources, and Washington Water Trust (a non-profit organization).

Low flow in the Dungeness River is a significant limiting factor affecting the survival of four species of endangered or threatened Salmon and Steelhead. Low flows are primarily a seasonal challenge, occurring in late summer and early fall. In August, human needs for irrigation water peak, Chinook and Pink salmon return to spawn, the snowpack feeding the river is depleted, and the river drops to its lowest flow. In all but the wettest years with ample snowpack, these low flows are insufficient to meet the needs of salmon, not to mention other competing uses.

Dungeness Off-Channel Reservoir Open House on Tuesday, December 6, 2022 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Dungeness River Nature Center

Learn more about the Open House (PDF).

>> Visit Clallam County's webpage for the latest project details and status: https://www.clallamcountywa.gov/188/Dungeness-Off-Channel-Reservoir  

The solution is a large off-stream reservoir to store water during winter and spring when flows are plentiful, saving this water for use later in the year. In addition to significantly increasing low-flow levels in the River, this is a multiple-benefit project that will capture stormwater and prevent flooding in the City of Sequim, provide opportunities for aquifer recharge, create a new  County park with river access and recreational opportunities, ensure the sustainability of agriculture in the Dungeness Valley, and provide climate resiliency for people, farms, and fish.

>> Visit Clallam County's webpage for the latest project details and status: https://www.clallamcountywa.gov/188/Dungeness-Off-Channel-Reservoir 

>> View a 7-minute VIDEO showing exactly how the off-channel reservoir will be operated to conserve water supplies and bring climate resiliency 

Community Benefits 

> Stream Flow Restoration For Salmon The project will retain up to 25 cfs in the Dungeness River by avoiding diversions, allowing the target flow-restoration goal of 105 cfs to be met, benefiting ESA-listed Salmon and Steelhead.
> Stormwater Management The project will alleviate flooding on roads and properties in the County and City of Sequim by intercepting storm flows before they reach culverts, pipelines, and other infrastructure.
> Aquifer Recharge In years with adequate snowpack, stored winter runoff can be used for aquifer recharge that will augment flows in small streams and possibly generate mitigation credits for the Dungeness Water Exchange.
> Long-Term Agricultural Viability Secure access to water for irrigation is critical to maintaining agriculture in the Dungeness Valley; this project will ensure that fish can thrive and irrigation can continue without impacting flows.
> Recreation The project site is currently owned by Department of Natural Resources and will be eventually owned and managed by Clallam County as a new public park with hiking, biking, wildlife viewing, and river access opportunities.
> Climate Resiliency Decreasing water supplies is the biggest climate concern for the region and this project provides a solution for salmon and agriculture during drought years and for drinking water supply/aquifer stability over time.

For more information please contact Clallam County's project manager:

Carol Creasey, Clallam County Hydrogeologist and project manager
360-417-2424, email Carol Creasey