MTPR

water

USGS

State budget cuts mean that ranchers, recreation businesses and conservationists who rely on accurate information about water in Montana are facing new challenges.

A ski trail near Seeley Lake, MT, January 2018.
Eric Whitney

Montana’s first winter snowpack report is out and so far, so very good. There’s still plenty of winter ahead of us, but the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Bozeman says Montana’s snowpack is off to a great start.

Big Timber Locals Say DEQ Water Worries Overblown

Nov 27, 2017
McLeod St. in Big Timber, MT.
Matt Blois

Every morning at 6 a.m. a group of men gather at the Frosty Freeze in Big Timber to drink coffee and share gossip. It's a diner, decorated with 1950s Coca Cola posters and old records. A sign hanging near the cash register reads, "Cows may come and cows may go, but the bull in this place goes on forever."

Five men sit at a table near the door, and a waitress provides a continuous stream of hot coffee. She places a plastic pitcher with ice cold tap water in the center of the table. Lately, this coffee group has talked a lot about water.

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

 UPDATE: Friday, September 22: The public hearing record remains open pending closing briefs from counsel and Montana Artesian Water Company owner Lew Weaver's testimony. Weaver's testimony is optional to the proceedings.

 

The DNRC's 90-day decision period will not commence until the record closes. Hearing examiner David Vogler will meet on a conference call with the parties' counsel on Wednesday, Sept. 27 to determine next steps in this matter.

Water bottle.
(PD)

The second day of testimony in Kalispell today regarding a permit for a proposed water bottling plant in the Flathead Valley saw mostly expert witnesses.

Montana’s Department of Natural Resources and Conservation is holding the hearings, and will determine whether to allow Lew Weaver’s Montana Artesian Water Company to draw up to 710 acre feet of water a year.

A section reserved for objectors at the September 19, 2017 public hearing on the proposed Creston water bottling plant in Kalispell. This past January the plant was granted a water right permit by the state.
Olga Kreimer

Close to 200 people showed up to the first day of hearings in Kalispell Tuesday about whether the state should permit a water bottling plant near Creston in the Flathead Valley. The Montana Artesian Water Company is asking to draw up to 710 acre-feet of groundwater for that per year.

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

A public hearing on a proposed water bottling plant in the Flathead Valley starts Tuesday morning in Kalispell. Montana’s Department of Natural Resources is holding the hearing to determine whether to grant a water right to the Montana Artesian Water Company.

Montana Artesian Water Company.
Nicky Ouellet / MTPR

Plans for a water bottling plant outside Kalispell moved one step closer to fruition Tuesday. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality issued a wastewater discharge permit for the Montana Artesian Water Company. It’s one of two permits the plant needs to open.

3,000 people might run out of water this summer on the Rocky Boy’s Reservation, but a bipartisan bill moving through U.S. Congress could bring some much-needed relief.

Montana drought status by county, May 1, 2017.
Montana DNRC

Drought is not expected to be a major factor this year in Montana.

Here’s something Montanans don’t frequently hear this time of year:

“It’s very unusual for most of Montana to be as wet as it is at this point," says National Weather Service Meteorologist Bruce Bauck.

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