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DNRC Headquarters
1539 Eleventh Ave. Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 444-2074 | Fax: (406) 444-2684
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State's water picture improving, but drought preparations will continue


HELENA, Mont. – While recent spring rains have lifted stream flows and improved soil moisture in many areas of the state, Governor Steve Bullock today said the potential for impacts from drought to surface water uses remains moderate to high both east and west of the Continental Divide, and Montanans must continue to prepare accordingly.

 “Current forecasts are predicting normal temperatures and normal to above-normal precipitation through June and July,” Bullock said. “Stream flows in most areas of Montana are improving. But many areas remain in a moisture deficit.”

 Bullock’s remarks came as he released the 2015 Governor’s Report on the Potential for Drought and Flooding in Montana, an annual compilation of climate data and forecasts for the state. A copy of the report is available at http://dnrc.mt.gov/divisions/water/management/docs/governors_drought-watersupply_report_2015.pdf

 “Across the state, Montanans are laying the groundwork to help our farmers, ranchers and communities prepare for drought in the near- and long-term,” Bullock said. “Through the Big Sky Watershed Corps, the National Drought Resiliency Partnership, and years of work in watersheds like the Big Hole, Blackfoot, Bitterroot, Musselshell and others, citizens are engaged in forecasting and monitoring water supplies, and creating water-conservation plans.”

 Bullock noted the city of Bozeman has implemented a program to reduce outdoor water use during the summer months by offering rebates on products that improve irrigation system efficiency by at least thirty percent.

 Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) Director John Tubbs said local, state and federal water-management agencies and groups are actively engaged in drought-mitigation efforts.

 “The work under way includes investments in new water gauges and other water-measurement infrastructure, identifying new locations for water storage and identifying strategies for farmers and communities to reduce water consumption,” Tubbs said.

 For more information on current water supply and climate conditions in Montana and the West, visit www.climate.mt.gov.

 For more information on water management, drought preparedness and water use in Montana, see the 2015 Montana State Water Plan at http://dnrc.mt.gov/divisions/water/management/state-water-plan.