“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” by S.T. Coleridge:
“Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink.
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.”
Whatcom County has many issues they are dealing with in regards to “water.” You wouldn’t think that water should, could, would be an issue for the “Evergreen State,” would you? The amount of water available to support humans, wildlife, industry and recreation is not in question. The Whatcom County Council, the Whatcom County Executive, the City of Bellingham Council and Mayor, the local Public Utility District and the Nooksack and Lummi Tribes, have been working behind closed doors for “YEARS” and have not allowed “ALL” of the stakeholders a transparent seat at the table in these discussions.
The State of Washington mandates that everyone has access to water without the need of a permit for these users:
- Provide water for livestock (no gallon per day limit)
- Watering non-commercial lawn or garden of 1/2 acre in size (no gallon per day limit)
- Provide water for single or groups of homes (limited to 5000 gallons per day)
- Provide water for industrial purposes, including irrigation (limited to 5000 gallons per day w/no limit on allowed acreage)
So, if we already have the rights to water use, why is this still an issue? Who are the stakeholders? It seems to me that anyone who uses water has an interest in seeing to it that we have access to plentiful, affordable, clean water. The devil will be in the details of how much "”real” science is used to determine the outcome. If the past is any indicator, there is a lot of questionable science being used to regulate us already…we don’t need more of that!
He who controls the water controls the world!
- What are water rights?
- Why do water rights matter?
- Who will this affect?
- How do we know who to trust?
There are many groups who are seeking to make this an open and honest process. Thus far it has potentially devolved into a federal court decision if the “tribes” succeed in bringing this to a federal judge willing to hear and make judgment on; “He who controls the water.” Seems to me that this matter should be adjudicated at the State level, since this is a States issue.
YiT ~ Shelly