Coordinated Water System Plan Update (CWSP)

Whatcom County is initiating an update of the Whatcom County Coordinated Water System Plan(CWSP). The CWSP is a plan for public water systems within a critical water supply service area(CWSSA) which identifies the present and future needs of the systems and sets forth means for meeting those needs in the most efficient manner possible. The current plan was last updated in 2000. Whatcom County has contracted with RH2 Engineering, Inc. to lead the effort to prepare the updated CWSP.


Plan Requirements

The Public Water System Coordination Act of 1977 (Chapter 70.116 RCW) (Act) requires that such a plan:
  • Is reviewed by local government to ensure it is not inconsistent with local land use plans, programs, and policies;
  • Recognizes all water resource and water quality plans which have been adopted by units of local, regional, and state government;
  • Incorporates fire protection standards;
  • Identifies future public water system service areas;
  • Identifies addresses inter-ties between adjacent purveyors;
  • Includes satellite management requirements; and
  • Includes policies and procedures that generally address failing water systems for which counties may become responsible. (See RCW 70.116.050)

Water Utility Coordinating Committee

In accordance with the act, the county convened the Water Utility Coordinating Committee (WUCC) which is responsible for the development of an updated plan. By statute, membership on the WUCC includes a representative from each purveyor with more than 50 connections that chooses to participate, along with representatives of the Whatcom County Council, Whatcom County Planning and Development Services, and the Whatcom County Health Department. The CWSP update process is overseen by the Washington State Department of Health.

In addition to full voting members, Whatcom County invited representatives from water systems with 50 connections or less to participate at the WUCC meetings as non-voting members to provide input from the county’s numerous smaller water systems.

The WUCC approved the update to the CWSP on April 20, 2016. The CWSP was submitted to the County Planning and Development Services Department (PDS) for SEPA and consistency review. PDS issued a Determination of Non-significance (DNS) and found the plan to not be inconsistent with the land use plans, shoreline master programs, and/or development policies. (The consistency report is available on the CWSP project file sharing site:  The CWSP voted to accept the CWSP as not being inconsistent with the land use plan, shoreline master program, and/or development policies on August 9, 2016. The CWSP was subsequently submitted to the Washington Department of Health for approval. 

More Information

RH2 Engineering has established a file-sharing website that contains materials on the  CWSP update.

If you have questions about the CWSP update process or the WUCC, please contact Gary Stoyka, Natural Resources Program Manager, via email or at 360-778-6218.

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