Highlights of the February 17th Well Owners meetings Held at Rome Grange:
- Rep Van Werven; Councilman Tyler Byrd attended.
- Paul Isaacson, chairs this ad-hoc committee, and represents well owners in the fix hirst planning process.
- Well Owners will have a greater understanding of very basic state water-law concepts
- Well Owners will have a greater understanding of key policies affecting well-use.
- Well Owners will have a greater understanding of how these policies are developed.
- The over-riding purpose of the evening’s meeting was to seek greater organization for well-owners and to support better representation and advocacy for their grass-roots interests.
- Contact Information– E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- Meeting March 17th at Rome Grange- NOTE: NOT CONFIRMED YET.. Use e-mail address above for further information.
Below: a report on the meeting by Attendee Chet Dow from Common Threads.
“The real issue is not about water, a phony water crisis, or water quantity and quality.” Rather, it is about control of our lives and freedom.
Well-Owners’ Meeting, Sat. February 17, 2018:
About 70 people, present and future well owners in the Nooksack Watershed (covering most of Whatcom County) attended an informational meeting held at the Rome Grange on Saturday evening, February 17. Those present included 42nd District State Representative Luanne Van Werven, District 3 Whatcom County Councilmember Tyler Byrd, and Whatcom County Planning Commissioner Natalie McClendon.
The meeting was organized by an ad-hoc volunteer committee of active citizens with the private well-owners’ caucus of the WRIA 1 Planning Unit. It was presided over by Paul Isaacson who recently accepted a leadership role as the Well-Owners’ Caucus representative to the Planning Unit.
Passage of ESSB 6091 by the State Legislature on January 18 has provided even more compelling reasons for individual water users to become better informed and organized in order to protect their water and property rights interests.
Among key goals the sponsors set for the meeting was to provide well-owners with: a greater understanding of very basic state water-law concepts, key policies affecting well-use, and how these policies are developed.
The organizers also presented attendees with a short five-point “action plan” with concrete steps they can take now to facilitate more effective organization and engagement in the public square.
Paul Isaacson opened the meeting by welcoming everyone and thanking them for taking time out of their busy Saturday schedules to learn more about becoming a “citizen activist”, especially when it comes to water-issues.
Committee member Molly Crocker presented State Water Policies, From the Water Resources Act of 1974 (RCW 90.54), to the recent “Hirst fix” legislation, ESSB 6091.
Other Points presented by Ms Crocker: click here for U-tube presentation of Power Point presented at the meeting.
- The D.O.E. 1985 Nooksack Rule- “WRIA 1 Instream Flow Rule”
- Nooksack Basin Water Steering Committee
- Passage of the 1998 Watershed Management Act—“RCW 90.82”
- WRIA 1 Planning Unit
- The Tribe’s refusal to participate leading to the massive local bureaucracy now involved in Water Policy
Chairman Isaccson explained that ESSB 6091 requires the WRIA 1 Planning Unit and Whatcom County as Lead Agency for Nooksack basin watershed planning shall work together to update the 2005 WRIA 1 Watershed Management Plan.
The law sets a deadline of February 1, 2019 for completion of this work and specifies that if the deadline is not met the effort will be taken over by the Department of Ecology.
Isaacson went to some length to explain a pie chart he had which graphically illustrates documented facts showing consumptive use of water by domestic wells accounts for under 1% of all water use across the state, when all consumptive beneficial uses are taken into account. He went on to emphasize that the group assembled at the evening’s meeting is focused entirely on domestic use of water, and not on other consumptive uses such as industrial, manufacturing, irrigation, etc.
The over-riding purpose of the evening’s meeting was to seek greater organization for well-owners and to support better representation and advocacy for their grass-roots interests at the Planning Unit and before our County government, as revised local water policy is developed. Futurewise, including Eric Hirst, David Stallheim, Jean Melious and others also have their goals and agendas in these venues and before our State government. The real issue is not about water, a phony water crisis, or water quantity and quality. Rather, consider that it is all about control of our lives and freedom.