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Water

Water is highly dynamic. It tends to flow, evaporate, transpire, condense, freeze, sublimate, absorb, precipitate in an ever-changing state. About 70% of the Earths surface is water. About 70% of the human body is water.

The rapid spread of desertification in the world is due to human over-exploitation of lands through over-cultivation, overgrazing, deforestation and wasteful irrigation practices.

There are:

• 11,000 individual waterways in Montana

• 4,000,000 acres of cold-water lakes

• 15,000 miles of cold-water streams

• 6,100 miles of warm water rivers

• 350,000 acres of warm water lakes

• 86 species of fish of which 29 are game species

• 60,000 holders of fishing licenses

Many Montanans take the states water for granted and our water laws are out of balance. The current legal and institutional framework for protecting rivers are inadequate. The law currently favors private off-stream uses of water and do not effectively consider public instream flows for fish, wildlife, riparian areas, recreation and public health. The summer and autumn of the year 2000 and also this summer we are afflicted with two drought years in a row. Low flows result in thermal pollution which in turn stresses fish, their eggs and fry and the aquatic insect food that is so necessary. The goal is to protect breeding-age fish so that they may be able to breed in the spring or fall of the next year. ~

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304 N 18th Avenue • Bozeman MT 59715 • Phone: 406-587-9181
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