Daines, Montana Congressional Delegation, Call on the Department of the Interior and Bureau of Reclamation to Provide Funding for St. Mary catastrophe

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Steve Daines, together with the Montana congressional delegation, sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Commissioner for the Bureau of Reclamation Camille Touton, calling for the authorization of federal funds to replace the St. Mary siphons that failed on June 17, 2024. 

The letter reads in part:

“For over 100 years, the St. Mary Canal and Conveyance Works has augmented the Milk River Basin water supply. Originally built by the Bureau of Reclamation to provide irrigation water, this system has evolved into a multi-use project that supports municipalities, recreation, and wildlife habitats. The St. Mary Canal provides over 60% of the water supply for the Milk River Project in an average year and more than 80% during dry years. This water supports over 120,000 acres of farmland, which is crucial for the region’s agricultural productivity. Additionally, the canal supplies water to approximately 18,000 municipal users.

Without immediate remediation and replacement of the siphons, the region faces severe economic and environmental impacts. These include significant agricultural losses, negatively affecting farm incomes and employment in agriculture-related industries. The local economy, heavily dependent on a stable water supply, will suffer, impacting businesses and overall economic stability.”

Read the full letter HERE