09-08: Montana Monitoring Funding

WHEREAS, water provides for domestic, agricultural, commercial, recreational, aesthetic, and wildlife uses that are at the foundation of Montana’s economy; and

WHEREAS, in recent years, competition for clean water in Montana has been rapidly increasing as a result of human population growth.  Various water uses are coming into conflict as increasing demands collide with our long-standing drought and dwindling surface and groundwater water supplies; and

WHEREAS, monitoring is critical to determining trends; identifying existing and emerging problems and potential solutions; and to determining the effectiveness of restoration efforts; and

WHEREAS, most long-term information on Montana’s rivers and streams has traditionally come from a statewide network of streamflow and water quality monitoring stations operated by the USGS and funding for operation of these stations has been significantly curtailed and the number of operational monitoring stations is declining at an alarming rate; and

WHEREAS, water quality monitoring activities benefit all users of water in Montana from irrigators to factories to fishermen and the availability of comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date information obtained through monitoring programs that everyone can use will be the key to sound, future management of Montana’s increasingly precious water resources; and

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Montana Association of Conservation Districts aggressively pursues additional funding to support existing Montana USGS gauging stations and additional funding for the expansion of the Montana monitoring program.