BY KAREN FILIPOVICH, PROFESSIONAL CONSULTANT
On April 27, Big Sky Sustainable Water Solutions Forum (Water Forum) stakeholders and community members dove into initial analysis of what solutions might best address the water resource needs of the growing human community and thriving natural river systems. Stakeholders representing community, business, conservation, recreation, downstream, local government, and agency perspectives have been meeting since June 2016 to create a community-based approach to water resources management in Big Sky.
Over 60 tools and strategies have been identified as potentially useful. The group is working to determine which ones are both feasible and likely to deliver the desired conditions identified in the goals. Discussion and initial analysis at this meeting included ways to increase community knowledge about the ecological health of the river systems, treatment options for wastewater, and incentives to ensure water use is “trout friendly”. It is expected that the Water Forum will finish a watershed stewardship plan by the end of 2017.
The Water Forum will meet at the Big Sky Chapel on May 24, from 1 to 4 pm. Community members are welcome to attend.