Water Rights Support, Maloney Ranch, Missoula, MT

Sovereign has provided ongoing support for a water right application for the Maloney Ranch development along the Bitterroot River near Missoula, MT. Sovereign staff assisted in the development of the original application that included groundwater modeling and the evaluation of mitigation measures to minimize surface water impacts. Most recently, Sovereign assisted with a deficiency letter response for the application.

The application involved a complex mix of retiring existing irrigation and water supply rights as mitigation to impacts from wells for the proposed development, along with an evaluation of return flow from lawn and garden irrigation. Some of the retired rights result in leaving water in a nearby creek, requiring evaluation of infiltration to groundwater. The code MODFLOW was used to evaluate how the proposed pumping along with retiring existing rights would impact the groundwater relationship with the river and what the net depletion would be.

After addressing the latest deficiency letter, the MT DNRC determined the application to be complete and it has been sent out to public notice.

Key project elements:

• Groundwater and solute transport modeling

• Groundwater-surface water interaction studies

• Groundwater availability evaluations and resource protection

• Groundwater management, planning, and supply

• Infiltration studies and disposal of treated residential wastewater

• Water rights and water use permitting