City of Bozeman enters Stage 2 drought advisory, lawn and other outdoor watering restrictions begin July 16

Wednesday Jul. 14th, 2021

Bozeman, MT— On July 13, 2021 after careful consideration the City Commission declared a Stage 2 Drought for the City based on Bozeman’s current drought conditions. This stage calls for mandatory outdoor watering restrictions to begin.
During a Stage 2 drought, the goal is to reduce total system-wide water usage by 20%. Outdoor watering restrictions, which include lawns and gardens, are in effect starting on July 16. Lawn watering is limited to two days per week and is prohibited between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Residents should follow the watering schedule included below:

•      Single residential properties with odd-numbered addresses: Saturday, Wednesday
•      Single residential properties with even-numbered addresses: Sunday, Thursday
•      All others (multi-unit, HOAs, commercial, industrial, government): Tuesday, Friday.
Trees, shrubs, perennials and other garden plants may be watered by hand held hose or low-volume spray irrigation any day of the week, but may not be watered between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Mayor Cyndy Andrus says, “We have been closely monitoring our water supply and water use in Bozeman over the last few months anticipating appropriate steps to address current drought conditions. These conditions are changing quickly, and the time has come for all of us to take action to ensure a healthy water supply for our community. Limiting water use and encouraging conservation efforts will help maintain this critical resource now and into the future.” 

Water Conservation Manager Jessica Ahlstrom says, “During the summer, fifty percent of city-wide water use goes to watering lawns and landscapes.  Reducing lawn watering to two days per week and forgoing watering during the heat of the day will help ensure that the city sustains existing water supplies in order to meet the needs of essential uses throughout the summer.  We will continue to carefully monitor our local water supplies and make adjustments to the watering restrictions as needed.”

The City of Bozeman’s water supply sources include Hyalite Creek, Sourdough Creek, and Lyman Spring.  The City’s Water Conservation Division monitors for drought by tracking local data such as stream flow, reservoir volume, and snowpack, as well as national climate data.  Streamflow and reservoir levels in Bozeman’s municipal watershed are currently below normal and national drought indices indicate that Gallatin County is experiencing severe to extreme drought conditions.  These conditions, combined with an exceptionally hot and dry summer weather patterns is impacting the City’s water supply and resulting in significantly high water demand due to increased landscape irrigation.

In addition to watering restrictions, stage two drought surcharges will go into effect. Water users across the city should prepare for possible increases to future water bills.
The Water Conservation Division asks that residents stay up to date with changing drought conditions. If conditions continue to worsen and a Stage 3 drought is declared, a lawn watering ban would go into effect and additional outdoor watering restrictions would likely be put in place.  To learn more Bozeman’s drought stages and about ways you can decrease water usage at home visit:

Check out the City’s drought meter in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle every Friday or go to the City’s website.