Competitive USGS grant awarded to MSU researchers

Each year, the USGS in cooperation with the National Institutes for Water Resources supports research that improves and enhances the nation's water supply.  Known as USGS 104(g) grants, the proposal process is highly competitive with applicants requesting up to $250,000 to support their research.  Recent awardees, Dr. Stephanie Ewing and Dr. Robert Payn (Montana State University), are teaming up with USGS researchers, Dr. James Paces and Dr. Rob Striegl (USGS Colorado), to understand how hydrologic storage changes across the transition between steep mountainous headwaters and depositional valleys within intermountain basins.  The team will use geochemistry of soil and bedrock weathering products to understand sources of base flow (i.e. groundwater) water supply across these mountain-basin transitions in the Upper Missouri watershed.  The Gallatin River watershed will serve as a case study for understanding the mechanisms of longer-term watershed hydrologic storage in the intermountain west, with implications for the coupling between human and natural systems associated with increasing demand for water resources driven by growing populations.  Stay tuned for more about this exciting research!

Interested in the next round of Water Resources Research grants?  Pre-proposals are due February 15, 2017 (email pre-proposals directly to wyatt.cross@montana.edu).  Researchers from accredited institutes of higher learning are eligible to apply for a grant through the Montana Water Center and proposals that involve collaboration with USGS and scientists are strongly encouraged.  You can view the full RFP here.

 

Missouri Headwaters Basin Study meeting

On December 1, 2016 a meeting was led by the Montana DNRC and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to discuss their current work to assess future water supplies and demands for the Missouri River and its major tributaries.  The Missouri Headwaters Basin Study encompasses the headwaters down to the Fort Peck Reservoir, including the Musselshell River basin.  The study will identify potential future changes in water supply and demand within the basin, and possible strategies to adapt that would mitigate the effects of a changing climate in the future.  This study builds on the Upper Missouri Climate Impacts Assessment conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.  This assessment, which evaluates how existing water and power operations and infrastructure would perform under predicted future water supply and demand conditions, will be made publically available soon.  Both the Missouri Headwaters Basin Study and the Upper Missouri Climate Impacts Assessment compliment the focus of the current Montana Climate Assessment to understand relationships between climate and water resources. 

The Missouri River at Great Falls, Montana.

Montana Water Center presents at the Montana Governor's Drought and Water Supply Committee Meeting

The Montana Water Center recently updated the governor's drought committee on the Montana Climate Assessment (MCA), scheduled to be released in 2017.  The presentation gave the committee a first look at projected future climate trends and how they may influence water supply in the state.  This meeting was held in the context of updating Montana's drought response plan.  Updates to the existing plan can be viewed here and will be available for public comment until Dec. 1, 2016. 

 

Water Center leads a 'Water Sector Report' for MT Climate Assessment

The Montana Water Center is leading a ‘Water Sector’ report for a new collaborative statewide Montana Climate Assessment. Our overarching goal is to provide objective information about the influence of climate on water supply, quality, and management in Montana. Our water team is now assembled and we’ll be posting some updates here as we move forward.  You can also learn more about the broader effort, as well as the other sectors (climate, forestry, agriculture) at: http://montanaioe.org/mca.  Stay tuned!