UM graduate students are tackling Montana’s changing water future through film and conversation at Let’s Talk about Water Montana.

LTAW poster with event information

Let’s Talk About Water, Montana

film screening and panel discussion coming to Missoula


Climate change complicates already contentious issues regarding water supply and quality. To secure a safe and adequate water supply for the future will require multiple solutions and collaboration among water users. On Sept 18, a group of UM graduate students are tackling Montana’s changing water future through film and conversation at Let’s Talk about Water Montana (LTAW). This event is free and open to all.

Dr. Kelsey Jencso, hydrologist and Montana State Climatologist, states that “the time to prepare is now so that we can adapt and take advantage of the challenges in the future.” "Surface waters in Montana have seen significant changes over the past 50 years," said Dr. Alisa Wade, a scientist for the USGS North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center. "Snowpack melts sooner, summers are drier, and we've seen flash droughts that affect recreation, fish, and farmers and increases the risk of forest fires that affect water quality. These complicate Montana's existing water quality legacy from historical mining."

On September 18, LTAW Montana will screen Water Warriors, Hidden Rivers, and 14 Degrees: The Story of Wasson Creek Restoration at the Missoula Community Theatre (MCT) in downtown Missoula at 5:30 pm. Following the films, a panel of water experts will answer questions about topics from the movies and our community. Panelists include: award-winning journalist Nicky Ouellet; Melissa Hornbein, lead attorney and expert on the CSKT Water Compact; Elena Evans, hydrogeologist with Missoula Valley Water Quality District; Alex Leone, Policy and Restoration Specialist with the Clark Fork Coalition; and Logan Mannix, a rancher and co-owner of the Mannix Brothers Ranch. The event will feature tabling from the Watershed Education Network, Missoula Valley Water Quality District, Vicki Watson with the Middle Clark Fork Restoration, The Climate Office, and Love Boat Paddle Co. Complimentary food will be provided by Clove Cart Pizza and kombucha from Nourishing Cultures. Raffle prizes provided by Imagine Nation Brewing, the Good Food Store, and other local businesses. Leading up to the event you can submit through social media and win prizes for the Love Your Watershed photo contest.

Join the conversation about Montana’s water future with LTAW Montana and other members of the western Montana water community. Dr. Vicki Watson, Professor of Environmental Studies at University of Montana, notes that “based on the Montana Climate Assessment – we need to prepare for higher high flows and lower low flows. We need to practice Watershed CPR (conservation, preservation, and restoration) to try to moderate those extremes.”

LTAW Montana is organized by graduate students at the University of Montana and supported by the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science Inc., UM BRIDGES, the Montana Water Center, The River Center, Geum Consulting, and the Missoula Valley Water Quality District. LTAW Montana has also received support from many organizations and members of the community.

"This forum provides a great opportunity to bring Montana residents together to start a local dialogue around challenges and potential solutions associated with water quality and quantity," said Wade.

For more information on LTAW MT, follow the group on Twitter at @MTWaterChat; Facebook and Instagram @MontanaWaterChat; and email: