Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2011MT250B

Statewide Education and Outreach

Institute: Montana
Year Established: 2011 Start Date: 2011-01-01 End Date: 2012-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $39,993 Total Non-Federal Funds: $88,582

Principal Investigators: Steve Guettermann

Abstract: The Montana Water Center holds a unique position within the Montana University System. It supports and advises Montana State legislators, legislative committees and the Governor’s office on water resource issues, and serves as a focal point for disseminating water resource studies that take place throughout the state. For the upcoming program year, these issues will include water quality and water quantity issues, drinking water treatment and delivery, waste water treatment, aquatic nuisance species and their control, drought mitigation and flood control, nonpoint source pollution, water borne toxic substances and organisms, aquatic species and habitat preservation, climate change studies and information transfer, watershed protection and restoration, and more. The Montana Water Center partners with state and federal resource management agencies and university faculty to conduct conferences and events that disseminate the latest research findings on water resources and management. Its on-the-ground and on-the-web outreach channels water information to decision-makers, scientists, water resource managers, K-12 educators and the general public throughout the state. Its participation in regional and national networks brings it into contact with water management approaches from other states that could hold promise in Montana. These approaches will be distilled at conferences and professional gatherings the Water Center sponsors to assure new possibilities are vetted in a critical, but constructive, format. Because of water quality and water quantity issues faced in the state brought on by such things as drought, changes in snow and rainfall patterns, climate change, development and changes in land use, and nonpoint source pollution, water resource managers and policy makers throughout the state have asked the Water Center to provide science-based information that is necessary to make sound decisions regarding water management. It is imperative to the State of Montana that the Water Center has the capacity to answer these requests for information and bring science and people together in ways that address the highest needs of its Montana audiences. With funding, the Water Center will make continue to make significant additions to its Water Center and Montana Water websites. The center’s computer specialist successfully developed survey instruments to better verify the users served. It is important to realize the training products developed by the Montana Water Center reach a national audience and the Montana Water Center website is a prime place through which these products are accessed, especially by small drinking water plant personnel. New products are currently under development to help better train water plant operators in plant operations and to meet EPA drinking water standards. In addition, continued funding will assure that podcasts and animated-types of information transfer will be developed in the coming year, to provide up-to-date and accurate water resource and management information for decision makers. The Center sees this as a key to its mission and success.