Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) Project

Project Purpose – for City Water Rights Investigation

Identify, permit, construct and operate a managed aquifer recharge (MAR) system that will increase
flow in the Nooksack River primarily in June through November for habitat enhancement,
stream flow augmentation, and municipal surface water right mitigation purposes.

General Concept

• Divert water from the Nooksack River (December through May) when the river exceeds minimum
instream flow requirements and convey that water, by pump or gravity, to selected MAR site(s). The
MAR system will infiltrate water into the subsurface resulting in recharge to the underlying
shallow aquifer systems.

• Potential MAR sites are being considered along the South, North, and Middle Forks
of the Nooksack River, and its Main-Stem, in geologic/hydrogeologic settings where a high
percentage of the infiltrated water will return to the river as groundwater recharge/seepage.

• The MAR sites would be located where the groundwater time of travel to the river is between
roughly 1 to 6 months so that river diversions between December and May will increase
groundwater seepage/recharge to the river from June through November. See the MAR
Conceptual Diagram on the back of this sheet for additional details.

Other Considerations

• Climate change models for Whatcom County predict a decrease in snowpack, an
increase in winter/spring river flow, and a decrease in summer/fall river flow in the upcoming
decades. The MAR projects may provide a reliable long-term solution to counter these predicted
climate change impacts by storing a portion of the winter/spring river flows in the subsurface and
releasing that stored water as cool groundwater recharge to the river during the summer/fall
months.

• This same concept also means that the MAR projects would provide some degree of summertime
drought protection for the Nooksack River.

Expected Results

• The MAR projects could provide several thousands of acre-feet of relatively cold groundwater
recharge to the upstream reaches of the river between June and November. It is intended that the
vast majority of this MAR water will be placed in trust for streamflow and habitat
enhancement purposes.

• A percentage of the increased flow in the river will be credited as mitigation for a modest
new City of Lynden annual municipal water right. The City will provide for the ongoing monitoring
and operation of the MAR systems to maintain their municipal surface water right.

• A share of the new water right may be used to address public health concerns
of water associations, adjacent to Lynden, that currently use groundwater with nitrate
concentrations above drinking water standards.

Project Team Members: City of Lynden, AESI, and Reichardt & Ebe

Letters of Support Received from the Following Agencies:

Birch Bay Water and Sewer District

Whatcom County

Northern Whatcom County Small City Caucus

Public Utility District No. 1 of Whatcom County

17th Street Extension to Main Street

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and Related Requirements and Information

Federal law protects everyone’s right to participate and be heard. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987 prohibit people from being excluded from participation in, being denied benefits of, or being subjected to discrimination under any program, project, or activity of Federal Aid recipients, sub-recipients, and contractors, whether such programs, projects, and activities are federally assisted or not.

As a recipient of Federal Aid, the City of Lynden must comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and related laws, regulations and other requirements.

Title VI Public Policy Statement

Title VI Complaint Procedures

Title VI Complaint Form

NON-DISCRIMINATION AGREEMENT POLICY STATEMENT

Non-Discrimination Agreement Policy Statement 2019

Title VI Nondiscrimination Agreement

ANNUAL REPORTS

Annual Report July 2018- July 2019

2019 WSDOT Conditional Approval Letter

Annual Report July 2017 – July 2018

WSDOT Conditional Approval Letter for 2018

Annual Report July 2016 – July 2017

WSDOT Conditional Approval Letter for 2017

Non Discrimination Agreement 2018

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