Water

  September 2021

What’s Wrong With Washington State Water Law?

  State water law is a complicated mess, a piece-by-piece accumulation of disparate laws since 1917. Worse, these laws confound solutions to the problems we face today — climate change and population growth — in managing an increasingly scarce and … Continue reading

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  July 2021

High Levels of Biotoxin Found in Wiser Lake

Recent sampling at Wiser Lake detected microcystin, a toxin produced by algae, at levels that may be harmful to people and pets. Toxin levels are more than 20 times the maximum safe level established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. … Continue reading

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  March 2021

How Best to Resolve Nooksack River Water Issues

  Background How can we best resolve long-standing water-resource issues in the Nooksack River Basin? These problems — primarily too little water in the river and streams during the summer — have been recognized for at least two decades. These … Continue reading

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  December 2020

Nooksack River Streamflows Are Getting Worse

My January 2020 paper published in Whatcom Watch, “Nooksack River: Too Little Water, and it’s Getting Worse,” examined summer flows in the Nooksack River, measured at Ferndale, from 1967 to 2019.(1) These data show considerable year-to-year volatility and an underlying … Continue reading

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  July 2020

Five Solutions to Whatcom County Water Issues

At the February 2020 City Club meeting, Whatcom County Executive Satpal Sidhu asked us to offer five solutions to the problems we think are most significant for the county. Here are my suggestions to deal with our water-supply problems. Background … Continue reading

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  April 2020

Challenges to a Water Supply in a Changing Climate

 The Community Research Project was conducted on behalf of the Whatcom County Climate Impact Advisory Committee. The purpose of this project was to reach out to community leaders and stakeholders on how the county should address the growing impacts of … Continue reading

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  January 2020

Nooksack River Too Little Water, and It’s Getting Worse

  There is less water during the summer in the Nooksack River today than five decades ago. These lower flows are one of many factors adversely affecting salmon and the orcas that feed on salmon. (1) This paper documents the … Continue reading

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  January 2020

Watershed Management Board

This local organization is responsible for addressing water supply and quality issues within the Nooksack River basin and for salmon recovery. Its members include Whatcom County, City of Bellingham, Public Utility District #1, Lummi Nation, Nooksack Indian Tribe, and the … Continue reading

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  September 2019

A Meeting About Protecting Lake Whatcom

Interested in protecting, preserving, and restoring Lake Whatcom, our community’s primary source of drinking water? Please join us at the downtown Community Food Co-op Connections Building (405 E. Holly St.) classroom on Wednesday, September 4, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. … Continue reading

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  May 2019

About Lake Whatcom

Lake Whatcom is the primary drinking water source for about 100,000 residents of Whatcom County. The lake is comprised of three sub-basins from which samples are collected in October through December, in February and April through September each year. The … Continue reading

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