Public Comment Form

WRIA 1 Nooksack Basin Adjudication Claims Form Comment Period

Please note that this comment form is for the purpose of submitting a comment to the Washington State Department of Ecology. Contact information is only necessary if you want to receive future notices or responses related to this topic.

Comments are due by February 8, 2024. To make a comment, please enter comment(s) in the text area. To submit attachments use the "Upload a file" button below. Then hit "Continue" to review your comment(s). To submit comments for a group please visit our Commenting Tips webpage.

Visit the Nooksack adjudication website to learn more. If you have any questions, email us at or leave a message at (360) 255-4406 and we’ll call you back.

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Adjudication claims form feedback welcome

In Spring 2024, the Department of Ecology will mail notices to all WRIA 1 water users that are not customers of a water system (such as a city, PUD, or water system). The mailing will include an adjudication court claim form for water users to fill out and return within one year of receipt. We want your feedback on the form before adjudication starts -- to learn how to make it more understandable and easier to fill out.

Please do not fill out the claim form. We are looking only for feedback about the form and the instructions at this time. Please click the "review documents" button below to view the form and a map showing WRIA 1.

While we welcome all comments about the form, we are particularly interested in knowing: 
  • Are the questions clearly written?
  • What are some difficulties that people might encounter filling out the form?
  • Would you know who to contact at Ecology for assistance?

We will consider feedback received during the comment period. If there are no changes, then we will approve the claim form as-is and the draft version will be finalized and used for the adjudication process. 


When it’s not clear who has the right to use water, adjudication reviews all water use and decides on water rights in a local court process. Anyone who lives in Water Resources Inventory Area (WRIA) 1 and uses water from a source other than a public water system should take part in the upcoming adjudication. In 2025, these water users will need to submit a claim for their water right to secure their future right to use water. The claims form is a legal document that must be filled out completely.


The Nooksack Watershed or Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA) 1 is defined as the area that drains to the Nooksack River, but also includes the Sumas River. It is bounded by Bellingham Bay and the Strait of Georgia on the west, and the Cascade Mountains on the east, in the western portion of Whatcom County, and small portions of Skagit county.

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