Lain Leoniak Board Member Greater Gallatin Watershed Council
Lain Leoniak Board Member Greater Gallatin Watershed Council

Could Bozeman be running out of water? The Bozeman City Commission recently approved a Drought Plan for Bozeman.

Our yearly snowfall is 30 percent behind what it usually is. A new subdivision could drop the level of water in a nearby well as much as a foot. To compound that we're the fastest growing county in Montana.

Will Bozeman, Belgrade and Livingston be looking at serious water shortages in the future?

Greater Gallatin Watershed Council

On Thursday, January 26, Tom Egelhoff interviewed Lain Leoniak (above), Water Resource Manager of Bozeman, and Board Member of the Greater Gallatin Watershed Council. (Listen to the audio of the interview at the bottom of this article)

Leoniak spoke about the goals and projects of the watershed council and the challenges we’re facing in the future if we don’t use our water resources responsibly. The two discussed the recent City Commission Drought Plan and why the commission felt the need to pass that now.

Water resources are very important to local farmers and ranchers since we get about 16 inches of precipitation each growing season and additional irrigation is often needed.

And since we are an upstream source there is nowhere for us to go to get additional water.

Leoniak also spelled out the GGWC’s Lower Gallatin Watershed Restoration Plan that was created in 2104.

The goals are to protect agricultural heritage, productive soil, and vital streams in the Gallatin Valley, enhancing water quantity, water quality, with East Gallatin River and Camp Creek as the initial focal points.

Some Final Thoughts

Water is important to all of us. Conservation and wise use of our water resources can keep our valley green in the years to come.

But it takes all of us working together for a positive outcome.

If you have concerns about water use in your area and need more information you can email


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