Controversy over Whatcom Co. water wells

BELLINGHAM — Conservative property-rights advocates are worried about proposed restrictions on wells they fear could mean the end of the rural way of life in Whatcom County.

The well controversy arose after environmentalists challenged Whatcom County rules that they believe don’t do enough to protect water resources.

In response, the state Growth Management Hearings Board issued a ruling that could block property owners from drawing water from their wells, if the basin where they live is closed to new water rights. The county has appealed the ruling to the state Court of Appeals.

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