Why Does Bozeman Struggle So Much With Water Conservation?
It's mid-day on one of the warmest days of the year, and I've driven by no fewer that half a dozen homes with their sprinklers on. It's not illegal to water your lawn, but their are rules and there is common sense - both of which are being ignored too often around Bozeman.
I'm not the water police, but I'm REALLY not looking forward to the day the Gallatin Valley runs out of water. Don't think it can happen? Sure it can. Mix continued growth, several years of less than average snowfall, and reckless water use - you've got yourself no water. Or an incredibly serious drought at the very least.
The City of Bozeman was smart in passing permanent watering restrictions. It's one of the most practical things they've done in years, in my opinion. In the summer, 50% OF BOZEMAN'S WATER USE is going to water lawns and landscaping. HALF of all summer water use. Seems a bit much, eh?
- Watering of lawns with overhead spray irrigation is permitted for even numbered property addresses on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday before 10am and after 8pm.
- Watering of lawns with overhead spray irrigation is permitted for odd numbered property addresses on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday before 10am and after 8pm.
- Hand watering trees, shrubs, ornamental perennials, flowers and food gardens is permitted any day of the week at any time.
The trouble is, water conservation has to be a group effort. Hence, the guidelines for watering lawns by the City. You'd think the COST of excessive water use would curb watering waste, yet you see it all the time. Watering lawns during the hottest part of the day makes for pretty inefficient water use. Can you imagine what these people's water bill are?
Bozeman relies on snowpack for its water supply, with 80% coming from snowmelt in the Gallatin Range, which feeds Bozeman Creek and Hyalite Creek.
The other 20% comes from a developed spring at the headwaters of Lyman Creek in the Bridger Range.
Feel free to contact the Water Conservation Division with any questions at 406.582.3220. They are there to help and answer questions!