Every red dot is a new well in a basin that has been closed for new withdrawals:
The State of Our Watersheds Report describes the impact these wells are having on salmon habitat:
The WRIA 1 watershed instream flow rules were set in 1986 to “protect and preserve” instream resources from low flow exceedances.
Contributing to this problem is the growth in exempt wells. The number of exempt wells has expanded 270%
since 1986, from an estimated 3,294 wells to an estimated 12,195 wells. The majority of this increase (77%) occurred in basins either seasonally closed or closed year-round to water withdrawal.
From 1986 to 2009, flows in the Nooksack River failed to meet instream flow rule requirements 72% of the time during the July-September flow period. This circumstance and trend is contrary to the strategy to protect instream water flow for fish.