Ground and Surface Water Response to Changing Irrigation Practices: A Bitterroot Valley Case Study

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The Bitterroot River is prone to channel migration. What was the main stem of the river in the late 1960's is now a side channel that requires periodic dredging. Kirk applied the MODFLOW flow-modeling program to the valley floor area and will demonstrate how he used hyrdologic features and groundwater recharge from irrigation activities to test how changes to irrigation methods can affect groundwater levels, ditch flows, and streamflow.

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Kirk Waren specializes in groundwater modeling. His MS (Geology with an emphasis in hydrogeology) is from Wright State University with his BA (Geology) is from the University of Montana. He worked for the Water Management Bureau of the Montana DNRC for 11 years, and the industrial and Energy Minerals Bureau of the Montana DEQ for six years.