Voice of the River

Bureau of Reclamation Grants Gallatin River Task Force $100,000 for Water Conservation

Bureau of Reclamation Grants Gallatin River Task Force $100,000 for Water Conservation

Launched in 2016, the Big Sky Water Conservation Program was initiated in response to a concern for Big Sky’s fast growing community and diminishing water supply. Since the start of the program, an estimated 12 million gallons of community water have been saved – a number we can all be very proud of – but still we know there are many un-utilized and under-practiced avenues for water conservation that can be implemented for continued protection of our precious water resources.

Water Use in Big Sky

Over the last several years, a handful of reports have been published that have given us a better idea of how we use our water, providing insight to the best tactics we can apply for decreasing that use. Data from the Big Sky Water & Sewer District has shown that outdoor landscaping is the number one water use in our community, so much so that our community water use in the summer is four times higher than in the winter.

By understanding the different ways we can adjust water use and conserve in ways both big and small, we can offer a glimpse into a pattern of community water use that could decrease our average daily water use up to 31 percent.


Water Sources Looking Back to Look Forward

When looking at a recent aquifer study conducted by the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, we also understand that our primary source of groundwater recharge comes from snowpack, which, due to predicted indicators of climate change, is expected to decrease year over year, leading to a significantly smaller aquifer recharge.

It is important that we pay attention to all of these markers. That we respect the science, acknowledge the reports and predictions, respond to community feedback, and apply the mechanisms through which we know will make a difference.

Gallatin River Task Force Conservation Program

Through programs like the Water Conservation Program, we are setting the community up for successful improvements and with offerings like our water-wise landscaping and our outdoor rebate program, we can give the community the tools it needs to save money, and water over time.

Funding Results

In order to create a program that would yield real results, we reached out to opportunities for funding through the Bureau of Reclamation’s Small Scale Water Efficiency Program. This funding opportunity is available through their WaterSMART program, offering up to $100,000 for small water efficiency improvements to help protect the limited water resources that many communities in the arid western United States (like Big Sky) are facing today.


Bureau of Reclamation Grants Gallatin River Task Force $100,000 for Water Conservation

Together with the Big Sky Water & Sewer District, the Task Force applied for, and was granted the full amount of funding, receiving $100,000 to bolster the amount of assistance the Task Force can provide to landowners trying to create water-wise landscapes.

With the Bureau of Reclamation Grants Gallatin River Task Force $100,000, we can offer

the advantages across our community, and we invite you to visit our website to learn more about our rebate program and how you can benefit from these funds, using them to help with projects like replacing thirsty turf lawns with landscape remodels that focus on water wise elements that are less consumptive to our community’s freshwater resources.

Understanding the ways you can conserve and the opportunities and resources that are available are the first steps in exercising your own successful conservation practices


Check out other resources that the “Bureau of Reclamation Grants Gallatin River Task Force $100,000″ is going to help facilitate: 

  • Indoor Rebates – The Task Force offers rebates to Big Sky residents that prioritize water savings in their homes by installing water-efficient toilets, shower heads, and clothes washers.

  • Outdoor Rebates – Residents receive rebates by installing weather-based smart controllers, rain sensors, sprinkler heads and nozzles, and performing spring outdoor audits / system checkups.

  • Water Wise Landscapes– Show your support for water conservation by utilizing water wise landscaping practices that protect the health of the Gallatin River, native pollinators, and native trout.

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