Montana DNRC Streamgage Program

Administering Entity: Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC)
Entity Type(s): State
Select all that Apply: Streams, Rivers, Lakes and Reservoirs
Primary Data Type(s): Discharge
Primary Watershed Monitoring Objective(s): Baseline, Trends, Permit Compliance, Streamgage, Long Term Fixed Station, Education and Outreach
Subbasin: Statewide
Counties: Statewide
Volunteers: No
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Contact Name: Matthew Norberg
Contact Email:

DNRC Stream Gaging Program

The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) is committed to providing high quality hydrologic data to support the management, administration, and beneficial use of Montana’s water resources.

Effective water management and distribution depend on accurate real-time measurements of streamflow. The Montana State Water Plan (2015) identified the need for Montana to develop a network of real-time stream gages on streams and tributaries that are not part of the USGS monitoring network. Expanding the state’s current stream flow monitoring network will improve the ability of Montanan’s to manage water supplies to meet demands, and plan for climate variability.


• Collect, analyze, and present accurate, high quality ‘real-time’ streamflow data in Montana’s rivers, streams, or critical surface water locations, not monitored by the National USGS program.

• Install and maintain up to 100 permanent real-time stream gages by 2025.

• Provide stream flow data to a publically accessible web site developed by the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology

• Support state-wide, regional, and local water resource administration and management objectives.


• Assist DNRC with administering the Montana Water Use Act by providing information on the amount of water physical available for new appropriations.

• Assist DNRC with the long-term planning of the state’s water resources, such as developing basin water budgets, evaluation of water supplies on multiple scales, and the evaluation of increased storage.

• Support enforcement of decrees and the distribution of water by water commissioners and reservoir operators.

• Support the efforts of Montana citizens to develop and implement drought management plans.

• Support work carried out by other state agencies such as MT Bureau of Mines & Geology, Fish Wildlife and Parks, Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Agriculture, and Montana Department of Transportation.

• Promote public awareness of Montana’s water resources.