Friday, May 22, 2009

Responsible Water Resource Management through Watershed Management Districts

People - no matter where they live, are the key to protecting natural resources

Successful management of water resources is dependent upon the people who live and work on the land.

Washingtonians have enjoyed an abundant supplies of clean, affordable water in a state that historically has enjoyed an abundance of water. But rapid population growth and temperature changes have created unforeseen supply challenges.

Our responsibility as citizens is to share our water supply and to use it carefully so there is enough water for farming, energy, recreation, fish and building the state's economy.

Those closest to the land, including landowners, farmers, local governments, special districts and the Washington State Department of Ecology have a responsibility to plan and manage surface and ground water resources efficiently.

Our state already has many successes on finding new and effective ways of managing water. One tool is Watershed Management Planning, with emphasis on careful management of individual drainage basins.

What is a Watershed Improvement District?

In 2003, the Bertrand Watershed Improvement District (WID) was formed as an irrigation district by votes proportionate to the number of acres owned.

The WID provides local organization of water management within the drainage basin. Parcels under 2.5 acres, tax exempt parcels and City of Lynden owned parcels were tax exempt.

The WID allows property owners and regulators to develop and fund projects that are designed to improve fish habitat, instream flows, irrigation efficiency and to address non-permitted surface and groundwater withdrawals. The result: a healthier watershed.

Who is involved in WIDs?

In addition to the Bertrand Creek Watershed Management District, the Nooksack Recovery Team (NRT), Whatcom County, The Whatcom Conservation District, the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association, the Washington State Department of Ecology, the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife and Lummi Natural Resources and the Nooksack Tribe are providing technical, funding and restoration activities in Bertrand and other watersheds.

How does one go about forming a Watershed Management District?

Here is a copy of the Whatcom County Resolution that was adopted to create the North Lynden Watershed Improvement District in 2007.
Whatcom County, WA Resolution No. 2007-054 North Lynden Watershed ...

For additional information about the Bertrand Watershed Improvement District, please visit

There are several excellent resource sites listed on the Internet and at the WRIA 1 website:

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