In response to the state Department of Ecology’s ongoing request to the state legislature for funding to begin the process of an adjudication in the Nooksack Basin, Whatcom Family Farmers has sent a letter to the chairs and ranking members of the budget committees in both state legislative chambers. An adjudication does nothing to solve our water resource issues but instead forces our community into a contentious process of litigation.

The Department of Ecology’s claim that their funding request for adjudication is a small request is disingenuous at best – although they are requesting $1 million now, to say that they aren’t asking for significant amounts of money is like saying that a house is cheap because the down payment is small, while ignoring the rest of the mortgage. The actual costs of an adjudication are in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The below letter outlines the types of collaborative processes that have worked elsewhere in Washington State, and which provide a roadmap for a successful resolution of water issues in Whatcom County that doesn’t put a financial strain on our local and state economy.

Adjudication letter to budget chairs