Comprehensive Planning

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The River and Flood Division performs comprehensive flood management planning for watersheds throughout Whatcom County.  Staff work with the Flood Control Zone District Advisory Committee, diking district commissioners, and other agencies throughout the planning process.  Successful planning reduces future flood damages and is supported by both the community and agencies involved to provide the following benefits:
  • An improved understanding of the river and floodplain system
  • A method to address problems in a comprehensive, basin-wide manner without transferring risk
  • A cost-effective means to direct flood hazard management expenditures

Planning Process 


  • Establish stakeholder participation process
  • Complete technical analyses to identify and characterize existing problems and flood damages – these typically include:
    • Hydrologic analysis and hydraulic modeling
    • Floodplain mapping
    • Geomorphic analysis
    • Flood damage analysis
    • Habitat assessment
  • Identify alternatives to address problem areas
  • Complete technical evaluation of alternatives
  • Select preferred alternatives to develop recommended plan
  • Complete and adopt plan 
  • Implement plan