I found the half-page article in the Daily Interlake about the Montana Artesian Water Company to have some data which, to me, has absolutely no bearing on the use of water. As a third generation retired wheat farmer from Pondera County, I want to point out that the vast majority of wheat raised in Montana is dryland farmed, and for Mr. Weaver's information, I mean watered naturally by mother nature, meaning not irrigated.
Please realize that agriculture irrigation goes on for only a short time out of the 12 months of the year. A lot of the water is not used by the agricultural crops and percolates back into our aquifers.
As for wheat being exported, thank God it helps our nation by providing money coming into our country, which in turn helps all of us by cutting down our national deficit.
As we all eat, so the water used in growing wheat is helping all of us, unlike the case of the Montana Artesian Water Company, where it appears they are just helping themselves.
Now my questions for Mr. Weaver...
Can and will you guarantee that you will not exceed your stated facts?
And that your water usage will never change?
Will you stick to your three trucks?
If so, the half-page notice failed to state the time frame for three trucks!
Is that per hour?
Per day, or what?
Will your hours always stay at 10 hours a day, six days a week?
Will you guarantee that you, or if you sell to someone else, that you will put in writing that these parameters will never change regardless of company ownership?
If surrounding wells in the Valley need drilling deeper, will you pay for them?
Will you guarantee that our ponds and lakes stay at the levels they are or that they have been over the years?
If our ponds and lakes go dry, they will be overtaken with noxious weeds. Who will take care of the infestations?
Without control, wildlife will scatter the weeds through the forest. Who will handle this kind of infestation?
Leafy spurge and spotted knapweed are noxious weeds that property owners are State-mandated to control. I do not believe that all landowners recognize that both leafy spurge and spotted knapweed leave a by-product in the ground that prevents other plants from competing with them.
These are some of the factors for which we need an ironclad contract to protect the vast majority of the people in the Flathead Valley.
It appears that an ironclad contract, or any kind of a firm commitment to protect the people of the Flathead Valley isn't what Montana Artesian Water Company wants to offer us. I see nothing here but empty promises, big trucks, and dry wells. VTC