MTPR

Water for Flathead's Future

Site of the the proposed Montana Artesian Water Company bottling plant near Creston, MT.
Nicky Ouellet

A controversial water bottling plant proposed for outside Kalispell has preliminary approval from the state and county to fill and sell millions of water bottles a year. But opponents are still looking for ways to shut it down.

Flathead County Commissioners spent two hours on Thursday morning re-listening to public hearings recorded two years ago.

Site of the the proposed Montana Artesian Water Company bottling plant near Creston, MT.
Nicky Ouellet

A company that wants to open a water bottling plant outside Kalispell was given a water right permit by the state Friday.

Montana’s Department of Natural Resources and Conservation has granted Creston-based Montana Artesian Water Company’s permit to pump 710 acre-feet per year from the Flathead Valley’s deep aquifer.

Montana Artesian Water Company.
Nicky Ouellet

Opponents of a proposed water bottling plant outside of Kalispell held a meeting Wednesday night to update local residents on the status of permits relating to the plant.

The Montana Artesian Water Company’s plant would bottle, ship and sell nearly 192 million gallons - about 1.2 billion 12-ounce water bottles - of treated groundwater per year.

Members of Water For Flathead's Future watch a documentary on water bottling at a potluck Wednesday night.
Nicky Ouellet

If water is becoming the new oil, the Flathead Valley could become the new Bakken. That’s what many people fear since news of a proposed water bottling plant outside of Kalispell broke earlier this spring.

Last week, Montana’s Department of Environmental Quality hosted a public meeting to take comments on one aspect of the proposed facility. Comments are due this coming Monday.