Who we are

Montana Water Center: A National Institute for Water Resources 

The Montana Water Center is one of 54 federally funded water research institutes in the United States. These institutes were created by the Water Resources Act of 1964, and collectively form the National Institutes for Water Resources. The Montana Water Center is partnered with the Montana Institute on Ecosystems, a statewide community of scholars with a shared vision to advance environmental sciences.

What we do


At the Montana Water Center, we apply science, education and outreach to help solve contemporary water resource issues in Montana and the region. We do so by providing research funding to Montana University System faculty and students, fostering collaboration between the University System and state water stakeholders, sponsoring water research and educational meetings, and providing objective, scientific synthesis of water information to inform decision-making.

Montana State University students hiking to the Lee Metcalf Wilderness Area near Big Sky, MT

Montana State University students hiking to the Lee Metcalf Wilderness Area near Big Sky, MT



Support water-related research

  • Sponsor university, faculty, and student-led investigations across the state

  • Connect university research to key information needs of Montana’s water resource stakeholders



  • Serve as the primary nexus between the Montana University System and diverse water resource stakeholders, including state and federal agencies, non-government organizations, citizens, and the private sector

  • Bridge the gap between citizens and scientists by strengthening water-resource literacy

  • Organize and support meetings, conferences and outreach events

Provide Education & training

  • Empower Montana's water leaders and securing our most valuable freshwater resources 

  • Support K-12 water education in Montana through partnership with Project Wet


Water is the lifeblood of Montana. We depend on it to produce our food, to power and supply our homes, to fuel our industries, and to sustain the wildlife and natural ecosystems that we cherish.

Statewide Engagement



Promoting science and highlighting water-related news, policy, and research accross Montana


sponsoring montana's american water resources association

Supporting a common meeting ground for water scientists, stakeholders, and citizens


supporting water-resource leadershiP, stewardship, Education    

Providing resources, tools, and education to all water users through the Montana Watercourse, our organization's outreach and education arm