Providing clean, safe drinking water continues as a top priority (PDF) for City leaders. Preserving natural forest cover is the best means of protecting water quality in the Lake Whatcom Reservoir, our drinking water source. To better fund the Property Acquisition Program and stormwater water quality projects in the watershed, the City Council adopted Ordinance 2012-02-005 an increase in the watershed surcharge to $12 per month for unmetered customers beginning May 1, 2012. Metered customers will pay an increased volume rate intended to equal $12 per month. The fee increase also designates up to 30% may be used for purchasing property for capital projects or the design and construction of projects to address pollution and stormwater runoff.
A forest, with its canopy trees, shrubs and groundcover, slows rainwater, filters pollutants and provides a continuous supply of clean water. The City's Lake Whatcom Watershed Property Acquisition Program buys property in the Lake Whatcom Watershed to preserve water quality by reducing development around the lake.
The Property Acquisition Program and its partners have purchased 1,390 acres of land. In addition, a grand total of 2,780 acres in the watershed has been protected through various means by the City and other governments, organizations and individuals. That's about 38 percent of the land in the watershed zoned for development but remaining undeveloped. It is estimated that these protections are preventing the construction of at least 1,357 homes.
Published: Mar 19, 2012