Whatcom County Water Rights

The Washington Supreme Court decision in Hirst et al. vs. Whatcom County, WA Sup. Ct. No. 91475-3, took away the right of rural property owners to develop small household sized wells. This case, you may recall, concerned Whatcom County’s use of exempt wells to allow construction in the unincorporated portions of Whatcom County, particularly in areas where the watershed had not been closed. The County argued that it was able to rely on the Dept. of Ecology’s determinations concerning water availability to make such decisions and to grant permits for construction where the water would be provided by an exempt well.
The Senate’s effort to save household wells was highlighted at a hearing Tuesday, February 21, 2017, before the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Property owners from Whatcom County and elsewhere said they have been devastated by the Supreme Court’s decision last fall that took away their rights to drill wells, and with it, their right to build on the land. A vote on SB 5239 is expected this week.
A hearing in Olympia makes a compelling case for household wells, property owners. Please watch the following Hearing:


Follow effort to save household wells on Washington State Senator, Doug Erickson’s, webpage: Senator Doug Erickson Webpage

WHATCOM COUNTY WATER RIGHTS MEETING

Water Rights Meeting

January 20th, 2014

10 am – 1pm

Mt. Baker Rotary Building, Lynden

Important Whatcom County water issues will be discussed in an upcoming meeting. If you are a farmer, owner of acreage, or just interested in Whatcom County water issues please come hear what Lummi Nation and ReSources (local environmental advocacy group) have to say about water in our county, and what this may mean for farmers. Hear ADC Water Attorney Bill Clarke’s evaluation of farmers’ options. Discuss how the farming community can work together to ensure the continued viability of ag in this area. Provide your input to the Ag District Coalition on our current strategy and next steps.

Lunch Provided – For Info Please Call 360.306.3580 – info@whatcomadc.org – wfcoop.com/resources/ADC

Be Informed, Be Proactive, Be Responsible

Organized by the Ag District Coalition