Adequate Flow

During Montana’s dry months, the demand for water exceeds the amount available in our waterways. In the Clark Fork basin, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks has listed over 900 miles of streams as “chronically or periodically dewatered.” Most years, there’s not enough water in certain reaches to support fish. Many streams become disconnected from the mainstem river as they dry up. Less water also means hotter water, which increases algae blooms and lowers dissolved oxygen — a lethal combination for our native trout. Drought certainly plays a role. So do irrigation withdrawals. Even residential use can lower stream flow, especially when hundreds of wells slurp up groundwater before it can replenish streams.

To have adequate flow–enough water for streams and rivers to provide ecological services–we work together on more efficient water use and innovative strategies for water storage to help keep water in streams. Our solutions are community-based and science-driven. 

You can help

Landowners and irrigators can partner with the Coalition to design and facilitate water management projects that support agriculture while also benefiting rivers and streams.