Eric Hirst

Citizen Journalist • Member since Jul 23, 2015

Eric Hirst has a Ph.D. in engineering from Stanford University, spent 30 years as an energy policy analyst at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and retired to Bellingham 14 years ago. He is a local environmental activist.

Articles by Eric Hirst

An Engineer Looks at Washington State Water Law

By Eric HirstOn May 25, 2018

State water law is a complicated mess, a piece-by-piece accumulation and accretion of disparate laws since 1917. Worse, these laws confound solutions to the problems we face today in managing an [...]

Water, Water Everywhere, But ...

By Eric HirstOn Jan 29, 2018

Although we get lots of rain and snow in the winter, Whatcom County faces serious water-supply issues during the summer months. Here are the key issues I see and what [...]

Once Again, Short-Term Interests Beat Long-Term Solutions

By Eric HirstOn Jan 22, 2018

It’s okay to make a mess now because we’ll plan to clean it up later. That, in essence, is what the Washington State Legislature passed and Governor Inslee [...]

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Recent comments

"Hi David, Thanks for your insightful comments. I agree that unpermitted water use in the agricultural sector is a big problem, perhaps 40% of total irrigation water use in Whatcom County. [...]

May 28, 2018 on
An Engineer Looks at Washington State Water Law

"John, Congratulations on turning 77 and deciding to begin a well deserved retirement.  Although I often disagree with the stories and/or comments published in NW Citizen, I very much [...]

May 17, 2018 on
A time to change NW Citizen ownership

"Elisabeth, thanks for your helpful comments on my article. We likely both believe that salmon are doing poorly because of many factors, some involving ocean conditions and others involving their [...]

Feb 01, 2018 on
Water, Water Everywhere, But ...

"I agree with Greg’s comments. As he notes, we have allocated more water for human, out-of-stream uses than is actually available. Therefore, salmon, other fish and the environment in [...]

Dec 19, 2017 on
Whatcom Water Resources: A Major Problem and a Reasonable Solution

"I agree"that it is impossible to make definitive statements about who is or is not using water illegally, until we have accurate data.” But there are no plans, at [...]

Dec 18, 2017 on
Whatcom Water Resources: A Major Problem and a Reasonable Solution