Protection of the Lake Whatcom
Reservoir

The Initiative Group

Watershed Protection Plan -- Other Options Considered

We first looked at other options for maintaining our water supply safe from pollution and contamination, over the next half-century or more.

Possible water sources considered were Ross Lake (east of Mt Baker), lakes and streams in Canada, in the BC mountains. Both of these have fatal flaws: distance and topography makes construction costs enormous, even if the water permits could be obtained, and a pipeline right-of-way managed. Furthermore, an earthquake could bring a massive disruption to such a pipe or canal, which would take months or more to fix. No deal!

A plan to treat urban storm-water flows (streams and ditches from subdivisions and possibly-polluting human use of the lands around the lake. This must be done, with our buy-up proposal or without it.

But even though fixing past problems or errors is necessary, doing so does not make a commendable plan for the future.

More development will mean: --- more pollution which will mean: --- more need for newer and even bigger treatment facilities, which require: --- maintenance -- and when the facility fails the result is: --- lots of development, --- money and time lost, and --- the lake even more polluted.

Water storage in a new reservoir with a new dam, in the upper Nooksack Valley -- (maybe the Middle Fork or South Fork). Several difficulties there: real problems are cost and earthquake hazard -- a quake which ruptured the dam would both destroy the facility (no more water) and cause major flash-flood damage to the river-banks and communities down the Nooksack. Do YOU want to hold the reins for that one? Not me. Even without those hardtack difficulties, there is harm to fish habitat, implemented by Federal and State environmental regulations ---- old and new.

Do YOU have an alternative proposal? Suggest it to us, and it WILL be given fair consideration!

Our bottom-line principles are: Protect the water supply in perpetuity -- maintain ecological viability of the lake for natural species -- distribute the financial burden fairly among those benefitting -- take immediate action if prudent -- take definitive action -- avoid actions which cut off future options.

. Do you read the fine-print? Since almost nobody will reply to this offer, and since we are just plain citizens, those few people who DO give us feedback will really have some clout on our recommendations! Say something to us, and see!

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The Initiative Group -- Whatcom
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edited November 3rd , 1998 -- mgb
Bellingham, Washington 98226 --- The Fourth Corner of the USA
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