Bozeman’s water resources: From forest to faucet

In the seminar “Bozeman’s water resources from forest to faucet,” Jessica Ahlstrom, water conservation technician for the city of Bozeman, depicted how Bozemanites can help the environment by properly saving water. Ahlstrom began with discussing how water travels through Bozeman and the surrounding area. She explained a new method of transporting groundwater and recycled runoff water through the “purple pipe system.” The purple pipe system is a slightly more efficient way of moving non-potable water into irrigation which reduces the overall water usage in and around Bozeman. This water can also be used to irrigate lawns as well as farm land. The event was held on Thursday, Oct. 19.


Ahlstrom explained how we as the consumers are able to both cause and prevent droughts in Montana. One way to prevent droughts is to plan ahead and watch the amount of water used on a daily basis. At the moment, each person in Bozeman, on average, uses 113 gallons of water a day. In order to prevent future droughts, that number will need to be brought down to 47 gallons of water a day per person over the course of the next 10 to 20 years.


Last summer, residents used 240 percent of the recommended amount of water, causing our reserves to decrease dramatically for next year. Most of this water usage was attributed to the practice of lawn watering. Ahlstrom gave water-saving advice such as watering your lawn late at night to allow the ground to properly absorb the water. Preventing drought in the Gallatin Valley is possible with proper water usage.