LaFave, John I., Larry N. Smith, Thomas W. Patton, 2004, Groundwater Resources of the Flathead Lake Area: Flathead, Lake, Missoula, and Sanders Counties, Montana, Montana Ground-Water Assessment Atlas 2, Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, 132p.

DNCR Water Right Objection Process

  • An existing water right holder can file an objection to the application.
    • The DNRC will review the objection and determine if the objection contains
      substantial credible information establishing to the satisfaction of the DNRC that
      the criteria may not be met in order to be considered a valid objection.
    • If ruled deficient, objector must provide additional evidence to support impacts.
    • The DNRC will hold an administrative hearing; objectors are required to attend.
    • Objector will need to hire a hydrogeologic professional to prove adverse effect.
    • Corporations and other legal entities have to be represented by an attorney.
    • DNRC’s Hearing Administrator will issue a final decision based on the water right criteria.
  • DNRC’s water right assessment and model is a conservative analysis of impacts in order
    to be legally defensible.
  • In some instances, the model will over-estimate the amount of drawdown that will actually occur.

General Water Use Comparison 

Montana Artesian Water Company

  • Requested a flow rate of 450 gpm
  • Requested volume of 710.53 acre-feet

Irrigation for a typical hayfield for livestock feed (320 acres)

  • A half center pivot requires 700 to 800 gpm
  • Alfalfa crop requires 700 to 800 acre-feet

Water-Quality Discharge Comparison 

Montana Artesian Water Company

  • Floor wash water; NSF approved, biodegradable cleaners
  • Bottle rinse water for BPA free bottles
  • Non-contact geothermal heating water

Dairy Farm

  • Nitrates, phosphates, chloride, ammonia, Pharmaceuticals, antibiotics, pathogens, disinfectants
  • Herbicides and pesticides

Analysis of closest well: Water Right 76LJ-30071877 – 635 feet away

  • Well depth: 380 feet
  • Well shut-in pressure: +29.3 feet above ground surface
  • Available water column: 409.3 feet
  • DNRC predicted drawdown: -20.5 feet
  • Water level above ground surface: +8.8 feet  Remains flowing artesian well
  • Available water column: 388.8 feet

Analysis of next closest well: Water Right 76LJ-30020705 – 1,123 feet away

  • Well depth: 90.0 feet
  • Well shut-in pressure: +37.2 feet
  • Available water column: 127.2 feet
  • DNRC predicted drawdown: -17.5 feet
  • Water level above ground surface: +19.7 feet  Remains flowing artesian well
  • Available water column: 109.7 feet

DNRC Analysis of Fair-Mont-Egan School Well: Water Right 76LJ-31251-00 – 16,460 feet away

  • Well Depth: 172 feet
  • Static Water Level: – 40 feet
  • Standing Water in the Well: 132 feet
  • DNRC predicted drawdown: – 4 feet
  • Available water column: 128 feet   No adverse effect per DNRC analysis

AWC Analysis of Fair-Mont-Egan School Well: Water Right 76LJ-31251-00 – 16,460 feet away

  • Well Depth: 300 feet
  • Static Water Level: – 38 feet
  • Standing Water in the Well: 262 feet
  • DNRC predicted drawdown: – 4 feet
  • Available water after 5 years: 258 feet   No adverse effect