The Ground Water Investigation Program (GWIP), established by the 61st Montana Legislature through House Bill 52, was prepared by the 2007/2008 Water Policy Interim Committee (WPIC). WPIC recognized that competition for water resources and the lack of detailed information on groundwater/surface-water interaction has challenged water-resource management and development in Montana.
Investigations and Concerns:
(Click the project name to view the poster)
1) North Hills area, Helena — Subdivisions in this area raise the concerns of impacts to water-rights holders by declining water levels, and possible impacts from use of individual septic systems.
2-3) Four Corners and Belgrade area, lower west Gallatin — The possible hydrologic effects of land-use conversion from irrigated agriculture to high-density residential have raised questions concerning both water quality and water availability and groundwater/surface-water interaction. Shallow groundwater in connection with the surface-water systems may be impacted by withdrawals and waste water due to continuing growth pressures.
4) Lower Beaverhead River West, Dillon — The increased number of high-volume production wells since the mid-1990s has caused concerns for senior water-rights holders and raised the issue of possible stream depletion by induced flow away from the stream or capture of stream recharge. Final Report Nov–2012
5) Scratchgravel Hills, Helena — Increased subdivisions and declining water levels have been observed in some parts of this project area, indicating a need to better quantify aquifer recharge and withdrawals.
6) Florence, Bitterroot Valley — Increasing population density in the Bitterroot Valley has increased the demand on the aquifer and the possibility of induced contamination of drinking water by septic waste drainage.
7) Flathead Valley Deep Confined Aquifer — The increase in high-capacity municipal, irrigation, and domestic wells and localized water level declines in the deep aquifer have raised concerns about the long-term sustainability of this water supply.