Hydrologic Assessment of the Blackfeet Reservation, Montana

Science Center Objects

The Blackfeet Nation seeks an increased scientific understanding of the water resources within the Blackfeet Reservation of northwestern Montana. Hydrologic information is needed in order to make informed water management decisions as the Blackfeet Nation moves forward with implementation of the Blackfeet Water Rights Compact as new water-use projects are initiated and as the Blackfeet Irrigation Project is improved. In 2019 the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Blackfeet Water Office, began working in collaboration to design and implement a data-collection program that will potentially include miscellaneous and continuous discharge measurements of area streams and canals, installation and operation of streamflow gaging stations, groundwater-level monitoring, database management, and training. Data will be used to understand current conditions and will be available for baseline comparisons as Blackfeet water projects are implemented.

Hydrologic Assessment of the Blackfeet Reservation Study Area Map

Figure 1. Location and boundary Blackfeet Indian Reservation

Specific Objectives:

  • Establish a data-collection network that will include streamflow gaging stations, miscellaneous discrete streamflow measurements, basin-wide synoptic streamflow measurements, and groundwater-level monitoring.
  • An emphasis will be placed on training Blackfeet Water Office staff and other members of the community to collect, review, and manage hydrologic data and to ultimately provide furnished data to be included in the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Information System database.