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'Plenty of winter left': Bozeman official says it's too early to be concerned over summer water supply

Posted at 5:27 PM, Jan 16, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-17 11:58:11-05

BOZEMAN — Bozeman’s water supply relies heavily on snowpack during the winter. Even though there is less snowfall so far this year, city officials say there’s no need for concern yet.

"That snowfall, you know, to date into this winter has been on the low side, but there's plenty of winter left. And we are hoping that, you know, snow will arrive,” says Brian Heaston, Bozeman’s interim director of utilities.

Heaston says all of Bozeman’s water sources originate as snow in the high country. He says they pay attention to snowfall every year.

“When we have light winters, absolutely, we get a little concerned that water availability is going to be more limited in the summertime when there's more demands upon the resource,” says Heaston.

However, Heaston says there is no need to worry yet since there’s a lot more time for snowfall.

“We have plenty of water to meet our essential indoor water needs. That's not a problem here for the community,” says Heaston. “If we do find ourselves still in a short, you know, snowpack-looking situation, we will begin the advance messaging to let folks know that water supply in the summertime may be limited."

If snowpack is looking limited by the end of April or early May, outdoor water restrictions could be put into place.