Water Rights Support, Pondera County, MT

Sovereign provided water rights application support including expert testimony and technical analyses for a beneficial water use permit requesting pumping from a developed spring in Pondera County, Montana. The original beneficial use application was developed by Sovereign staff in 2002.

An update to the application was completed along with a series of technical memoranda in the Fall of 2012. The revised application and technical memoranda proposed developing a MODFLOW groundwater model to evaluate potential pumping impacts to existing wells and surface water users. The model was first calibrated to a pumping test completed at the site, and then used to simulate the variable seasonal pumping from the spring.

Sovereign staff provided expert testimony at a hearing in the summer of 2013. The hearing was held to address objections to the water rights application.

Key project elements:

• Groundwater and solute transport modeling

• Groundwater-surface water interaction studies

• Groundwater availability evaluations and resource protection

• Water rights and water use permitting