On October 25, 2016 Whatcom County Council voted to adopt Emergency Ordinance 2016-048. This ordinance places an emergency moratorium prohibiting the filing, acceptance, and processing of new applications for project permits (as defined in WCC 20.97.321) for uses that rely on permit-exempt groundwater withdrawals for water supply on property located within a closed or partially closed basin (as identified in Chapter 173-501 WAC, shown in Exhibit A), except project permit applications in closed or partially closed basins that provide documentation at the time of application submittal that there is an adequate and legal water supply to serve the proposed use in the form of:
1. A water right from the Department of Ecology, or
2. A letter stating the ability to provide water from a municipal or public water purveyor not dependent on a permit-exempt well, with adequate water rights issued by Department of Ecology, or
3. A rainwater catchment system approved by the Whatcom County Health Department.