Questions are understandable, but spreading intentionally misleading information is a disservice to everyone in the valley.
The water right application is unprecedented in Montana and threatens neighboring wells, wetlands and wildlife habitat.
Fact: The proposed water bottling plant will draw water at a similar rate and total quantity very similar to other common agricultural and commercial uses throughout Flathead, and will have no appreciable impact on the aquifer, river, wetlands or wildlife habitat.
Details: The Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology has determined the over 213,000 acre feet of water flows into the Flathead’s deep aquifer every year. Current authorized uses of water from the deep aquifer draw approximately 23,500 acre-feet per year. Assuming losses for evaporation and evapotranspiration (among other factors), the remaining outflow is approximately 190,000 acre-feet per year.
Montana Artesian Water is requesting a water right for 715 acre-feet per year. This equates to 0.03 percent of the total volume of water currently being pumped from the deep aquifer or 0.003 percent of the total groundwater inflow into the valley.
Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology hydrogeologists have determined that any impact to Flathead Lake from pumping 23,500 acre-feet that may be occurring at this time is not statistically identifiable. Therefore, the impacts to Flathead Lake from the Montana Artesian Water well would be imperceptible – even if the full right were exercised – and the likelihood of even nearby impacts is extraordinarily low.