Clock starts on Nooksack basin water rights inventory; stakeholders yet to discuss solutions
Weeks of sparse rainfall and a historic heat wave marked the end of June — and the start of a process to establish water rights among various users in Whatcom County’s Nooksack River basin.
A next step to resolve Nooksack water rights waits on legislative budget decision
The state Department of Ecology has announced its intent to resolve the contentious issues around water rights in the Nooksack Basin through the legal action of adjudication, and money to move that process forward is proposed in the budget under consideration by the Legislature.
Community Voices / Nooksack water rights adjudication is an existential threat to farming’s future
Whatcom County farmers say they view water rights adjudication as an existential threat to their future, in their long-term battle to maintain farming as part of the local economy and culture.
A word about property rights and freedom
Commentary: Government, in balancing the peace, health and economic welfare of the people, has an interest when it comes to private property rights.
Collaborate, adjudicate to settle Nooksack water issues
Summer streamflows in the Nooksack Basin have been declining for decades, while the need for irrigation water grows as summers get hotter and rainfall diminishes.
Can Southern Resident killer whales have legal rights?
Ecosystem conference: Advocates are promoting ‘rights of nature’ as orca numbers dwindle.
Grant to fund collaboration plan for solutions to Nooksack Basin water issues
Interested parties hope Solutions Table funding approved by the Whatcom County Council this week will spark collaborative work toward holistic solutions for water availability in the Nooksack River basin.
Community Voices / Nooksack flood, water solutions to protect families, fish and farms will require collaboration
Whatcom farmers are calling for communitywide collaboration in pursuing solutions to flooding and water supply issues in the Nooksack River Basin.
Water supply on Guemes: an island paradise faces challenges
More people and rising sea levels mean continuously increasing freshwater challenges on Guemes Island, compelling action on the part of individuals — and possibly government — to ensure enough water supply to meet demand.
Community Voices / Whose water is it in Whatcom County?
This may surprise you: Water, even in wet Whatcom County, is a scarce resource.
Downtown Bellingham waterfront site sprouts new signs of life
After almost 20 years of frustration and stagnation, the first tender shoots of redevelopment have appeared amid the post-industrial desolation that Georgia-Pacific Corp. left behind on Bellingham’s downtown waterfront.
San Juan Islands’ fresh-water supply sustainability is in question
Back in the ’70s, the Lopez Island water witch and other old-timers would rattle a newcomer’s cage by telling him the water feeding wells in the San Juan Islands came from a large undersea aquifer reaching to Mount Baker. The water witch and the old timers are gone, and the specter of climate crisis is here. No one jokes about fresh water in the islands coming from Mount Baker. Instead, talk is in earnest and concerns the question of sustaining the islands’ supply of fresh water.
Olivia Palmerread more
For the people: what local legislators plan for the 2022 session
Dealing with climate change, providing economic relief post-COVID-19 and ensuring sustainability for the Washington State Ferries system made the priority lists of elected officials returning to take care of the people’s business when the 2022 session opens Jan. 10.
2021: A look back at some stories from the first full year of Salish Current
2021 was a year like no other, with themes such as public health vis-à-vis COVID-19 and opioid addiction; social justice in the courts, the arts, housing and policing; and climate change and natural resources including water rights management. Salish Current offers a look back via articles published during the nonprofit newsroom’s first full year.
Nooksack Tribe and partners face up to climate change challenge on South Fork Nooksack River
Since long before more than 2,000 chinook salmon died this summer before they could spawn in the South Fork Nooksack River, the Nooksack Indian Tribe has been working with a wide range of partners to plan for supporting at-risk habitat and species. A new report from the tribe aims to translate the science and put boots on the ground.