Gallatin County Water Resources – Start your discovery today.
The Gallatin Valley is a headwaters community. There is no upstream for us. Our water is finite and flows downstream via the Missouri River to millions of users.
Each spring, mountain snowpack melts as runoff to feed creeks, rivers and groundwater. Water is diverted for use, evaporates and returns to the system as precipitation. The intricate balance in each of these steps defines and impacts our water future. The complexities of our water system are fascinating. We are all a part of caring for our water.
MTA provides resources for learning about and being a good steward of the Gallatin Watershed.
WATER USE AND CONSERVATION
Water Conservation in Your Home: City of Bozeman
Water Rights 101: State of Montana, Bozeman Regional Water Rights Office
County Planning and Zoning: Gallatin County
Water Quality and Public Health in Gallatin County: Gallatin County
Protecting Local Water Quality: Gallatin Local Water Quality District
Watershed Education and Action: Greater Gallatin Watershed Council, Gallatin River Task Force
Stream Permitting and Grants: Gallatin Conservation District
Problem Solving and Fact Sheets: Montana State University Extension
Statewide Collaboration: Montana Watershed Coordination Council
Montana State Water Plan: Montana DNRC
Fish Species and Permits: Montana Fish and Wildlife Parks Region 3
Federal Water Research and Monitoring: U.S. Geological Survey
Support for Agricultural Water Users: Association of Gallatin Agriucultural Irrigators
Local Produce in Schools: Gallatin Valley Farm to School
Ag Facts: Montana Department of Agriculture
Support for Grain Growers: Montana Grain Growers Association
Support for Livestock Producers: Montana Stock Growers Association
Federal Support and Information for Producers: Montana United States of Agriculture
‘What Is A Wetland?’ video: Montana State University Extension
Landowners Guide to Montana Wetlands: Montana Water Course
Wetlands Grants and Publications: Montana Wetlands Council
Wetlands Field Guides and Maps: Montana Natural Herritage Program
Mountain Time Arts Water Themes
There are many Gallatin Valley water themes that inspired our WaterWorks art installations.
UPSTREAM June 2017 (Main Street and Bozeman Creek)
Water has many beautiful and essential forms (solid, liquid, gas) in our changing seasons. What’s in a drop of water, what’s its water quality and how we can conserve it?
Where does our drinking water come from and where does it go? Think about how we capture, deliver and treat water in municipal systems and private wells.
WETLANDS July 2017 (At a wetland along the East Gallatin River)
Aquatic habitats provide important homes for amazing plants, animals, birds and fishes. Wetlands in particular, are diverse and rich and have many functions (like storing water during flood events, filtering and cleaning water, proving home to diverse species, and aesthetics). Remember the role of beavers in creating wetlands and native traditions in these places.
The economic value of instream flow and open space is a vital consideration in a region undergoing rapid development
GABRIEL CANAL August 2017 (On a historic irrigated ranch on the West Gallatin)
Groundwater/surface water interactions are in constant play in our valley. The timing of return flow (water that is used on the land and eventually returned to the system) is key to our system of water rights and water availability for other uses.
Farming and ranching traditions are part of our heritage in the Gallatin Valley and are key to the protection of open spaces and our rural landscape.
Upstream Water Themes and Related Information for You
What is water and how does it flow? Water is the only natural substance found on Earth as gas, liquid and solid. With each of its molecules containing two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen, water is tasteless, odorless, and essential for life. Throughout the seasons in our watershed, water is connected. Mountain snowpack melts as runoff to feed rivers and groundwater. It evaporates, is diverted for use, and returns to the system as precipitation. The intricate balance in each of these steps defines and impacts our water future.
Where does your water come from and where does it go? 85% of Bozeman’s water comes from snowmelt that feeds Bozeman (Sourdough) and Hyalite (Middle) Creeks. The remaining 15% comes from a spring at Lyman Creek in the southwest Bridger Mountains. It is treated and, after use, it is treated at the Bozeman Water Reclamation Facility before returned to the East Gallatin River. Current average daily water use by each person in Bozeman is 120 gallons per day.
How do we plan for our future water needs? Drought and climate change greatly impact water supplies. City, county and state plans look at the big picture and depend on your involvement.