Lake Whatcom

Lake Whatcom Drinking Water

Lake Whatcom is a large, multi-purpose lake located in the southwestern portion of Whatcom County. It is the drinking water source for approximately 100,000 people. Drinking water is provided by the City of Bellingham, the Lake Whatcom Water and Sewer District (formerly Whatcom County Water District Number 10), and a few smaller water associations. Approximately 250 residents draw water directly from the lake.

Watershed Uses

  • Drinking water
  • Recreation (boating, swimming, fishing, hiking, biking, etc...)
  • Forest (about 80% of the watershed is comprised of forestland)
  • Residential (there are approximately 7,000 residential dwelling units in the watershed)
  • Habitat
Lake Whatcom
Lake Whatcom Logo

Lake Whatcom Management Program

The Lake Whatcom Management Program (LWMP) is a joint effort between the City of Bellingham, Whatcom County, and Lake Whatcom Water and Sewer District to protect and preserve Lake Whatcom as a long-term source of drinking water. In 1992, the elected bodies of the three entities adopted a set of 6 general and 21 specific goals for Lake Whatcom water quality protection, setting into motion the Lake Whatcom Management Program. In 1998, an interlocal agreement was adopted formalizing the joint management of Lake Whatcom.

Visit the Lake Whatcom Management Program Website 

The most comprehensive resource for information on Lake Whatcom watershed management programs, activities, and updates.  

Program Areas

The Lake Whatcom Management Program utilizes 5-year work plans and sets forth tasks to achieve water quality protection in the following 10 program areas:
  • Land Preservation
  • Stormwater 
  • Land Use
  • Monitoring & Data
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Recreation
  • Aquatic Invasive Species
  • Utilities & Transportation
  • Education & Engagement
  • Administration