Northwest Management, Inc. (NMI) clientele have a diverse interest in the uses of water resources ranging from surface water rights for irrigation and livestock, to groundwater wells, fire-suppression ponds and instream-flow preservation throughout the western United States. NMI provides landowners the highest quality in water resource management along with contract administrative service while resource management plans are implemented.
To achieve the client’s goals and plans for their water uses, NMI professionals work continuously with the landowner to balance all objectives for their property. Management goals include; water right applications, water quality sampling, water quantity estimation, and aesthetic conditions, all in conjunction with improving and maintaining your water resources.
NMI water resource staff are knowledgeable of riparian vegetation, stream types, and hydrology throughout the West, and have expertise in application processes requiring State and Federal regulations. Utilizing NMI brings greater opportunities and revenues for landowners, as well as, access to professional personnel with the abilities and resources to provide high quality water resource management. Our water resource staff provides a comprehensive range of environmental and scientific services in the field of hydrologic, wetland, and riparian area management through environmental guidance and development of processes to minimize impacts and optimized resource availability.
A healthy water resource can have many parts including streams, ponds, riparian areas and wetlands, as well as be resilient to change, biologically diverse and able to provide a sustained habitat for vegetation, wildlife, and human use. The ability of a hydrologic ecosystem to remain productive and stable over time is dependent on many factors. Specific factors include, but are not limited to, the occurrence and distribution of animals and vegetation, inputs to the ecosystem such as water volume, water quality, nutrients, and outside impacts, and the ability to support not only natural functions, but human uses and needs. The health of your water resources is not only affected by natural elements such fire or large snow-melt events, but human inputs such as recreation, grazing and industry.
Water resource assessments are used to measure and track hydrologic conditions related to natural and human related factors. Assessments are designed to determine the status as well as any changes, and/or trends in indicators of present water resource conditions. Through the use of cross-section and longitudinal stream surveys, water quality samples, and vegetation plots, Northwest Management, Inc. assesses the hydrologic health and sustainability of a water resource by analyzing indicators within the ecosystem. Identifying present trends can reduce some impacts of catastrophic events such as drought susceptibility, flood damages and water quality degradation. Trend and risk assessments can play a crucial role in maintaining healthy water resources and supporting the sustainability of hydrologic ecosystems.
With the use of a water resource, all states, and some counties, have specific rules and regulations that must be applied. States that have similar climate and landscapes can have similar basic rules, however, many rules and regulations stem from historic uses within each state. Differences often occur in the details, vocabulary, and application/notification processes. For example, surface water right applications usually require an analysis of historic use, proof that the proposed uses are “beneficial” under state law and that water quantity is available for the intended purpose. The depth and detail of the application analysis will depend on which state, or area of the state the operation is proposed to take place. Northwest Management, Inc. water resource staff is fully aware of the regulation differences between regions and states for water quantity/use permits as well as water quality/discharge permits such as NEPDES (National Pollution Discharge Elimination System) permits. Moreover, Northwest Management, Inc. hydrologists can easily contact state water resource personnel, who specialize in regulations, for any possible unique situation on a landowner’s property.
State water right permitting rules have been established for the protection, sustainability and use of all water resources, and are applied to irrigation, livestock, recreation, fire suppression, reclamation, municipal use, and industrial needs, as well as others. A state’s water regulations apply to surface waters and ground waters as well as water quality. Some states, such as Montana, have applications that must include stream measurements of water quantity over extended periods of time to show “legal water availability” and determine “beneficial use of state water” prior to project initiation. Other states, such as Wyoming, only require notifying the State Engineers Office and paying the applicable fee, before an operation begins. In all western states if a landowner does not possess a water right for a well, spring, stream, discharge or water impoundment currently in use, they are outside of the law and can be subject to heavy penalties. All states monitor water resources and as increased pressure on the resource progresses throughout our country more and more states are evaluating specific water uses within their borders.
As water resources become more understood and developed in the western United States the need for quantifying stream flow and watershed runoff becomes more and more important. Estimation of water yield from a melting snowpack or stream flow from a localized storm over a watershed can provide invaluable information to natural resource managers. Similarly an estimation of water yield from impervious areas within an urban watershed provides important information to managers assessing storm water systems and other hydrologic needs associated with protection of private property.
Northwest Management, Inc.’s water resource staff can provide information at a “watershed-scale” for estimating water volume and flow to assist in the hydraulic planning and understanding of projects that take place in areas where water runoff or timing is a concern. Some uses of water volume and flow estimates that Northwest Management, Inc can provide are; fisheries assessments, timber harvest planning, retention-pond holding capacity for erosion/sedimentation and flood control, fire suppression access or irrigation diversion needs, and estimation of culvert diameter size for runoff management and water diversion projects.
Copyright 2013, Northwest Management, Inc. All Rights Reserved