Why the need for a Water Action Plan?

Whatcom County has numerous groups working on a wide variety of water issues. Through various advisory committees and planning efforts the County has recommendation for nearly 300 distinct water-related projects. These projects range from flood control to habitat enhancement to water quality and quantity issues.

At the same time many stakeholder groups have recognized the need for quicker action on water issues to avoid a variety of environmental, economic, and lifestyle issues. Water quality is declining in many of the basins in the county endangering thousands of dollars of shellfish production. There is growing concern about who does and does not have a legal right to use water from our lakes, streams and groundwater. Phosphorus flowing into Lake Whatcom is polluting the lake and creating higher levels of algae, which is costing taxpayers millions of dollars in drinking water treatment costs. The Agriculture Community is attempting to organize a number of new Watershed Improvement Districts to give them a more direct avenue to work on water issues. The Lummi Nation has asked the federal government to step in and define their share of the county’s water.