Opposition to the proposed water bottling plant near Creston grows . . .
Concern over a proposed water-bottling plant near Creston has sprung from a trickle to a flood as 30 nearby water users push the project through an additional layer of state review, while a recently formed organization working to block the plant’s development has asked Flathead County commissioners to issue a moratorium on commercial water bottling operations.
Residents opposed to the bottling plant along the Flathead River say the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation failed to adequately assess the impacts to other water users when it granted a preliminary water right permit earlier this year.
The opposition is centered on Lew Weaver, the owner of Montana Artesian Water Co., who is seeking a water right permit from the state to pump up to 710 acre-feet, or 191.6 million gallons of water annually from an underground aquifer near Egan Slough along the Flathead River.
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Here’s an excellent article by Dillon Tabish of the Flathead Beacon on the concerns surrounding the proposed water bottling plant near Creston . . .
The Flathead Valley Deep Aquifer is a waterlogged mass of sand and gravel stretching thousands of feet beneath the entire local landscape. Primarily fed by snowmelt from the surrounding mountain ranges and precipitation, the massive aquifer is the main source of water in the valley as it flows south toward Flathead Lake, providing a vital resource to a growing collective of urban and rural communities and playing a critical role in the region’s environmental and ecological balance.
For as far-reaching and abundant as the local aquifer exists, worries are running just as deep in the agricultural community of Creston and beyond following a proposed water bottling plant on a slough along the Flathead River.
Lew Weaver, the owner of Montana Artesian Water Co., is seeking a water rights permit from the state to pump 710 acre-feet of water annually from the underground aquifer, the equivalent of 1.2 billion 20-ounce water bottles.
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There’s an interesting presentation on the Flathead Valley’s hydrology coming up on April 6 at Flathead Valley Community College, in the Arts and Technology building theater at 6:30 pm . . .
When Flathead Valley residents turn on their tap water, they often take it for granted. But with the exception of those living in Whitefish, most everyone living in the valley relies on groundwater from a series of deep aquifers known as the Flathead Valley deep aquifer.
It’s the most widely used aquifer in the valley, supplying high-capacity municipal and irrigation wells in addition to thousands of domestic wells. The deep aquifer is a thick deposit of gravel and sand, the top of which is 75 to over 400 feet deep and separated from shallow units and the land surface by a thick confining unit.
On April 6, research hydrogeologists John Wheaton and James Rose from the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology will present their research on the Flathead Valley’s deep aquifer and discuss the long-term sustainability of the area’s groundwater resources.
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