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 problems. Bacterial pollution in many of the basins in the county endanger 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 and Nooksack Tribe have asked the federal government to step in and define their share of the county’s water.
To address these overlapping issues the Whatcom County Council recently unanimously passed a resolution pledging to work over the next few months to get input on these water issues, prioritize them, and then consider allocating additional money during this fall’s budget discussions to start to more adequately address these issues.
Stay tuned to learn how you can provide your ideas and learn more about these issues.