Ground Water Investigation Program—GWIP

GWIP supports science-based water management in Montana by answering site-specific questions that are prioritized and assigned by the Montana Ground Water Steering Committee MCA 2-15-1523, as mandated by the Montana Legislature and authorized in MCA 85-2-525. To meet this goal, GWIP conducts research on specific hydrogeologic issues in areas that are ranked as the most urgent within the State.

Groundwater withdrawals can directly affect senior water-rights holders, streamflows, the availability of irrigation water, and the health of aquatic ecosystems. Efficient water management requires a scientifically based understanding of the groundwater systems.

GWIP projects have included water resource issues such as:

  • Cumulative effects of existing and proposed water development on groundwater and streamflow,
  • Effects to groundwater and surface water from changes in irrigation practices or land use,
  • Groundwater availability for residential, commercial, and agricultural development,
  • Possible effects of energy development on groundwater resources,
  • Evaluation of mitigation/offset plans in closed basins, and
  • Water-quality impacts on groundwater and surface waters from land use changes.

The results of each investigation include:

  • A detailed report describing the hydrogeologic system of the area, addressing the immediate water-resource question and implications for future stresses as appropriate,
  • Typically, a groundwater model that is available for use in future analyses, and
  • A comprehensive set of data available through the Ground Water Information Center (GWIC).

These products are used by regulators, senior water-rights holders, new water-rights applicants, and other stakeholders to make better-informed water management decisions.

Program Resources

Project Nomination

GWIP Project Map

GIS Data Hub

Contact Information

Program Information

Ginette Abdo, GWIP Manager
(406) 496-4152 | Email

Office locations in Butte and Billings