Water Resources

The Water Resource Program provides the following services for the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and Reservation community:

  • Water quality monitoring, research and analysis
  • Extensive collection of water quality data throughout the Reservation and adjacent waters.
  • Act as Tribal advocates for the protection of water resources throughout the region
  • Holistic watershed planning and analysis
  • Water quality improvement projects
  • Representation of the Tribe’s interests in water related issues within local, state and federal arenas
  • Development of Water Quality Standards and Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) for Reservation waters
  • Procurement, implementation and administration of several federal grants for the protection of water resources throughout this region.
  • Development and implementation of Water Quality Standards for Reservation Waters. Certification of Federal permits and licenses discharging to Tribal Waters
  • Compliance monitoring of Tribal waters to ensure Tribal water quality standards are being met.

An Example of Current Projects

Tribe and U.S. Geological Survey Cooperative Studies of Coeur d’Alene Lake

The Tribe and the USGS are conducting studies of Coeur d’Alene Lake to assess current water quality conditions, and to identify changes that may have occurred since a similar study was conducted in the early 1990s. From late 2004 through 2006, staff from the Tribal Water Resources Program will sample 12 bay

and near shore sites four times a year and USGS researchers from Boise and Post Falls will sample five open-water sites 8-10 times a year. Other researchers from USGS and the University of Western Australia – Centre for Water Research also will study temperature gradients and water movements through the Lake and the potential release of toxic metals from lake bed sediments contaminated from historic mining and ore-processing activities upstream.

Study results will be used to develop high-resolution predictive models of the Lake’s response to influences such as ongoing and planned environmental clean-up activities and near-shore development occurring throughout the Coeur d’Alene Basin, and to design a long-term Lake water quality monitoring and management strategy. These studies are funded by the Tribe and other participants named above, and by grants authorized by the federal Clean Water Act from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to the Coeur d’Alene Basin Environmental Improvement Commission.