The model for this practice is New York City, which took the controversial step two decades ago of spending $2 billion to protect a watershed in the Catskill Mountains. She and Alan Wood, a resource conservation manager at the agency, had been putting together conservation easements for years, “but we had never done a project this expensive,” says Mr. Wood in his office in Kalispell, where nail holes in the wall are covered by a bear hide. MSU Extension Water Quality Program. Advise the Legislature on the adequacy of Montana’s water policy. 2. A selection of the most viewed stories this week on the Monitor's website. If you have questions about your account, please While Montana's water issues are unique in some ways, researchers from the state said its overall problems mirror much of the country's. When the appetite for high-priced housing threatened the water source of this picturesque mountain town, the residents raised taxes and spent money on forests. Get the Monitor Stories you care about delivered to your inbox. As a result, withdrawal estimates are often based on the interpretation of a limited amount of reported data that are in turn used to estimate withdrawals for other facilities or areas. High quality data is necessary to support decision-making. As part of these efforts, county-level estimated use of water in Montana for 2015 was compiled for eight categories of use—irrigation, public supply, domestic, livestock, industrial, mining, thermoelectric power, and aquaculture. The E.P.A. And the trees do it well. “It has become an international example of what watershed protection can accomplish.”. Surface water systems withdraw water from the source, treat it, and deliver it to our homes. Just as important, perhaps, was guaranteeing public access to the forests. Late last year, the purchase of another 13,000-acre property helped protect a watershed for Whitefish Lake, a secondary source of water for the town. Source: The Environmental Protection Agency, supplemented by the California State Water Resources Control Board for facilities located in California. water policy issues. “Protecting forests of watersheds makes economic sense,” says John Muhlfeld, the mayor of this town of 7,000 nestled in Montana’s Rocky Mountains. The deals will help a community group, Whitefish Legacy Partners, create a 55-mile trail around Whitefish. Lumber companies had crudely formed Whitefish – its original name was “Stumptown” – but Mr. Wood and others say the selective “sustainable” timbering done by Stoltze is healthy for the forest. The Montana State University Extension Water Quality (MSUEWQ) program works to address “People now understand conservation means protecting our scenic backdrop, protecting our drinking water, supporting wildlife, allowing hunting,” she says. A weekly digest of Monitor views and insightful commentary on major events. Approval Includes Selection of Remedy for Units 1&2 Stage I and II Evaporation Ponds and Response to Public Comments, Public Comment, Legal Notices, and Public Meetings, 2020 Monitoring Lab Analysis Parameter Suite and Price List, Volunteer Monitoring Sampling and Analysis Plan (SAP) Template, Sampling and Analysis Plan (SAP) template, Montana Watershed Coordination Council Monitoring Resource Library and Program Search, Benthic Algae and Phytoplankton (chlorophyll-a and ash-free dry mass), EPA Environmental Measurements and Modeling, National Water Quality Monitoring Council, National Environmental Methods Index (NEMI), Fish, Wildlife & Parks Aquatic Invasive Species, Surface Water Assessment and Monitoring (SWAMP) Program. “We’ve been doing it for over 100 years, and we’re able to find the balance,” says Paul McKenzie, land and resource manager for Stoltze. Drought. Preliminary estimates indicate that irrigation accounted for about 9,450 Mgal/d or about 96.3 percent of total withdrawals for all uses. In Montana these issues are negotiated and stated in a compact that is then ratified by the holder of the federal water right, the Montana legislature, and the U .S . The nonprofit helped bring together $9 million from federal conservation funds. Box 173120 Bozeman, MT 59717-3120. Across the nation, the system that Congress created to protect the nation’s waters under the Clean Water Act of 1972 today often fails to prevent pollution. A planet with limited water resources needs accurate, reliable and frequently-updated tools to measure water use and plan for future needs. Three years later, when rising tourism upped the summer demand for water, more money was raised to buy more forests. For more information on Silver Bow Creek and to download the latest update on it's clean up and restoration from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, go to Citizens Technical Environmental Committee Butte, Montana. Stay informed about the latest scientific discoveries & breakthroughs. records may reflect updates since that date. throughout Montana and its neighboring states through research, education, and outreach. Volunteers may collect chemical, physical, or biological parameters to evaluate water quality, aquatic habitat, and streamflow. We all depend on water every day, ranging from the water from our faucets, to the food we eat, to much of the electricity we use. Whitefish, Montana, is nestled beside Whitefish Lake in the Rocky Mountains. 13, 26 p. Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, 1986, Montana water use in 1980: Helena, MT, 49 p. Estimated Use of Water in the United States for 2015. “People are not necessarily doing it because they love trees,” he says. But in 2015, after a “Vote Yes for Water” campaign by the mayor and others, residents gave an overwhelming 84% approval to a 1% tax increase. We shouldn’t do it.” Europe widely adopted that conservation ethic – and still today preserves twice as much land, proportionately, as the U.S. To inquire about equipment available for loan, contact DEQ’s Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment program (406-444-3507) or MSU Extension Water Quality program (406-994-7381). Our ultimate goal is to protect public health and to maintain Montana's The natural filtering process that rain and snow undergo in seeping through forest canopies and forest beds, slowly toward streams and lakes, is so effective that five major cities in the United States – New York, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, and Portland, Oregon – can pump unfiltered water from distant pristine watersheds to customer homes. Montana 2015 water use total withdrawals by county. No data point selected. Access to streams, which gave the town the cleanest and cheapest water, was threatened by development, so the town used an increasingly popular strategy of buying rights to the forest.