WRIA 1 Watershed Management Project

Whatcom County, WA

Table of Contents DRAFT

Executive Summary (this document)



Technical Assessment




Early Action

DRAFT Executive Summary

Go to DRAFT Scope of Work

Residents of Whatcom County are faced with an increasing number of challenges related to water resources, despite what at times appears to be a seemingly abundant resource. These challenges include limited water supplies to meet current and future needs, water quality degradation, and the listing of Chinook salmon and bull trout as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Left unresolved, these issues will have a broad and far-reaching affect on the economic and environmental health of the community.

In 1998 the State legislature passed Engrossed Substitute House Bill 2514, codified as RCW 90.82, known as the Watershed Management Act. The Act provides a framework to better understand the nature and extent of water resource management issues and to locally plan and implement solutions to identified problems .

Participation in the process is voluntary. In May 1998, Whatcom County, the City of Bellingham, and the Public Utility District decided to engage in the process with the County acting as lead agency. After a Memorandum of Agreement was signed by these three local governments and the Lummi Nation, both of the tribal governments joined the process. The Memorandum of Agreement further defines the project objectives, participants, and the decision-making process Since that time funding (grant and other) has been obtained, resources have been allocated, and actions are underway based on requirements of the law, subsequently signed contracts and agreements, and input from the local community.

The scope of issues that may be addressed under the Act must include water quantity, but may also include water quality, instream flows, and habitat. All four components will be addressed in the Water Resource Inventory Area 1 (WRIA 1) Watershed Management Project, as they are inseparable.

The purpose of this scope of work is to outline the general process, strategy, and actions necessary to effectively manage water resources in WRIA 1. This scope of work includes actions taken to date. It provides the framework from which more detailed work plans will be developed and approved by appropriate entities. These work plans will include goals/objectives, specific tasks, budgets, who will implement, work products, and schedules. In some cases, particularly for technical information, work plans should include design parameters such as time step, probable error and expected contribution to satisfying informational needs. Some of this may not be known until the work plans are implemented. The standard established in the MOA is best available science.

In many cases, specific work plans will be developed and implemented under the guidance of Technical Teams. Technical Teams will generally be composed of representatives from the Initiating Governments and the Planning Unit or their designees, and other technical experts. The Technical Teams will report to and receive direction from the Initiating Governments and Planning Unit. Community members, private consultants, and government agencies such as USGS/others may be recommended by the Teams to assist in developing and implementing work plans.

The approach taken with this {DRAFT} scope of work reflects the requirements of the Watershed Planning Act, adopted agreements and contracts, recommendations from program participants (Initiating Governments and Planning Unit), and the Guide to Watershed Planning and Management. This scope of work should be considered a working document that may need to be refined as work progresses and more information is collected.

Go to DRAFT full Scope of Work