Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Company

WATER RIGHTS, INC. (WRI) is a multi-disciplined natural resource consulting firm dedicated to providing comprehensive services to industry, government and individuals. We offer services in aquatic enhancement (rivers and ponds), environmental site assessments/clean-ups, water quality monitoring, hydrology, irrigation design and scheduling, land use planning, riparian and wetlands, soils and vegetation, surveying, engineering, real estate, and water rights. Water Rights, Inc. offers prompt, responsive and economical services for all natural resource and environmental issues.

We hope this site offers the needed assistance for any water and environmental remediation questions you may have here in Montana.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions and/or comments.

Monday, August 13, 2012


Water Rights Services

1) Evaluation of Existing Water Rights-Adjudication
We use current Supreme Court claim examination procedures to accurately evaluate all of your water right claims (priority date ranking, reliability of water supply, research documentation of historical use, acreage determinations, flow rates and ditch capacities, chain of title searches and personal interviews).  Additionally, we professionally assembled reports provide you with recommendations to resolve any potential conflicts, discrepancies, and/or problems with your water rights.

2) Permitting
Water Rights, Inc. assists in establishing new water rights and/or changing existing rights.  In fact, we prepare all types of water right applications, objection forms, and notices.  Our permit applications include all required data (historical and current), including aerial photographs, site maps, flow measurements, drainage analysis, irrigation and/or pond water requirements and materials that assist you in obtaining the permits you need…fast.

3) Mediation 
Allow us to assist you in resolving conflicts and/or objections with other water users. WRI has--on staff--the first appointed water mediator in Montana.  We have successfully conducted mediations for some of the most controversial issues on critically de-watered streams in the State.

4) Expert Witness Testimony 
Water Rights, Inc. provides technical review of water related issues, e.g., hydrologic evaluations of surface and/or groundwater, proper ditch/pipe location, size and design, historical research, easement and ditch right disputes, etc.  We accurately determine possible adverse effects and/or damages through surveying, engineering, mapping, water flow measurement, modeling and easement research to accurately defend our clients’ position.

5) Flow Measurement & Diversion Structures  
WRI designs and installs accurate flow measurement and flow control systems that prevent unnecessary, inconvenient calculations and assumptions.  We meet or exceed all state and county regulations, using superior monitoring equipment.  We design and install all types of headgate and diversion structures using state of the art fish friendly methods.

Hydrology/Hydrogeology & Water Quality

After confirming the legal parameters of your water rights, consider the dependability of the water itself.  Are your water source and point of diversion reliable?  Do you have an efficient method for conveying water to your property?  Do you have adequate groundwater to meet your demand and where should you drill?  Is the water quality acceptable as it enters and exits your land?  How much water are you actually using? 

WRI answers these questions and more by providing numerous hydrological and hydrogeological services, including the following:

1)  Water Sampling & Analysis
To address water quality concerns, we collect on-site water samples, testing essential water quality values including pH, temperature, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, total dissolved solids, nitrates, metals, etc.  Additionally, we have pollution detection kits for a more thorough analysis, and use local laboratories when necessary.  Our staff provides efficient, accurate readings combining our professional monitoring methods with superior sampling equipment and rigid control. We also provide a chain of custody for all samples, ensuring reliable results.

2) Water Monitoring
After establishing dependable flow and monitoring control sites, we regularly monitor your water quantity and quality, while obtaining specific analysis samples/data.  We design and install water quality data collection and measurement stations. We provide thorough water quality and quantity reports including technical analysis for surface and ground water.  We design fish friendly diversion structures that are site specific.

3) Irrigation Design & Scheduling
Maximize the capacity of your appropriated irrigation water.  We determine optimum crop scheduling, complete thorough ditch and system loss studies, relocate points of diversion, and design entire irrigation and conveyance systems. We determine crop and irrigation requirements for all types of soils and irrigation system designs.  WRI makes the transition from flood to sprinkler irrigation efficient and economical by implementing our own professionally engineered designs, including headgates, partial & Cutthroat flumes, all types of weirs and conveyance ditches/pipelines, and gravity flow designs.  We then monitor system operation.  We use salvaged water (salved water through more efficient use) to irrigate additional acreage.

4)  Groundwater Modeling & Evaluation
We complete groundwater resource evaluations, including groundwater and surface water modeling, as well as determine aquifer characteristics including; availability, potential impacts and risks, well siting, pump tests, etc.  We also test the water quality of wells, ascertain static groundwater levels, transmissivity rates, conductivity, draw down curves, and well depths, disinfect wells and conduct draw-down tests to determine aquifer parameters.

5)  Channel Modeling & Data Analysis
WRI surveys and analyzes stream channel and floodplain cross-sectional data, developing accurate channel models, while determining potential channel fluctuations. We research the geology, geomorphology, flow data (velocities), bed load transport, grain size, scour depth, and classify the water course before initiating any design or permitting work.  We use HEC-RAZ, Grapher, Modflow, and other modeling software to assist with design. These models enable us to design and implement safe, effective streambank stabilization and flow control structures while preserving and enhancing the aquatic habitat.

Riparian Areas & Wetlands

Depend on WRI for floodplain designation and wetland delineation.  Our comprehensive wetland and stream inventories expedite the permitting process.  Our designs include fishery and aquatic habitat enhancements.  Protecting wetlands and riparian areas is extremely important for water quality and aquatic habitat; and more specifically—the law requires itWRI maintains your land=s environmental quality while enhancing the functionality of your riparian and wetland areas.  WRI assists clients in wetland development and mitigation.  Allow us to delineate your wetlands, design mitigation and/or restoration plans, create a wetland bio-filter to treat contaminated water, and rapidly obtain all required permits for your proposed developments, including the following:

š310 Permit (MT)
Required for any private, non-governmental individual proposing work in or near a perennial flowing stream on public or private land.  If you plan to complete any activity that physically alters or modifies the bed or banks of a stream, you must obtain a 310 permit in advance.  (We also complete 124 permits for government agencies and municipalities.)

š 404 Permit (MT)
Required for any private, non-government individual proposing a project involving discharge or placement of dredged or fill material into any U.S. waters including lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands, or other aquatic sites.

š 3A Permit (MT)
Required for any private individual or public agency initiating short-term activity that may cause unavoidable, short-term violations of state surface water quality standards (e.g. turbidity, total dissolved solids, TDMLs, or temperature). State waters encompass any body of water; irrigation system (with return-flow to state waters); or drainage system, underground or surface (including wetlands).

š Floodplain Development Permit (MT)
Required for anyone planning new construction (streambank stabilization, placement of fill, roads, bridges, culverts, transmission lines, storage equipment, excavation, ponds, irrigation facilities, boat ramps, structures, out-buildings, etc.) within a designated 100-year floodplain. 

*WRI can complete most permit applications including: air quality permits, all                                      discharge permits with runoff/discharge management designs and mining permits, amendments, reclamation and plans of operation.  Please see Civil & Environmental Engineering Section.

**Stream Alteration Permit (Idaho)
Combination of 310, 404 and Floodplain Permits in MT.

Civil & Environmental Engineering

WRI is capable of efficiently designing and implementing all of your civil development and/or environmental reclamation/enhancement projects.  Our meticulous staff utilizes experienced site, civil and environmental engineering practices, supported by land surveying, advanced mapping and design technicians (CAD, ArcGIS & Photoshop), along with superior technical writing and presentation skills.  We conveniently and professionally complete all residential and commercial site design projects and subdivision proposal packets. 

þ  Streambank Stabilization/Restoration
Rivers and perennial streams are in a state of constant flux referred to as dynamic equilibrium. That is, the channels meander back and forth as a function of sediment transport and energy. Often, this process results in significant erosion and loss of property.  If you are losing valuable property to streambank erosion you should consider a streambank stabilization project. 

One common streambank protection measure is rock rip-rap.  This method alone can be expensive, so WRI suggests rock rip-rap be used in conjunction with the placement of large root wads, keyed into the bank, and extensive vegetation implementation where possible.  Vegetative and bioengineering stabilization methods produce more natural looking final-products, and this technique provides better aquatic habitat while effectively armoring the streambank. Our designs offer natural protection and enhancement of your streambank and are environmentally friendly. We will obtain all the necessary permits (see Riparian Areas & Wetlands section), supervise excavation/installation of our project design, and complete final re-vegetation (seeding and planting) and post-project monitoring.
þ  Transportation Design & Construction 
Our engineering staff has experience in the layout of streets and pedestrian systems (as related to land use).  WRI brings the engineering dimension to vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle facilities to insure all designs are both functional and safe. A significant requirement for achieving an adequate transportation system is that all building sites are contiguous to the system, most utilities are located within it, and the storm drainage is usually affected by it.  It is therefore necessary to initially establish the horizontal and vertical control of the streets prior to undertaking the sequential design of other site improvements, including the storm drainage system, followed by the sanitary sewer system, and finally the potable water system. We complete all required surveying, calculations, designs and construction drawings for the project. We are also experienced in obtaining required site-specific permits (Department of Transportation, United States Corps of Engineers, Department of Environmental Quality, etc.)

þ    Potable Water & Sanitary Sewer System Designs  
Our engineers and technicians are experienced and qualified to design complete potable water and/or   sanitary sewer systems for residential and commercial sites. A typical potable water design is initiated with the engineer’s report.  Our engineer reports contain the associated calculations and dynamic models of the pressurized system.  The calculations include the anticipated average daily demands, peak requirements for domestic water use and the required fire suppression flows, while the model demonstrates that the proposed system has the ability to convey the projected water demands. Conversely, the sanitary sewage design consists of the engineer’s report, calculations for the anticipated average daily loading and construction drawings.  Our staff also has considerable experience in the design of sanitary sewer pumping stations (lift stations).  Past projects have ranged from small self-contained pumping stations to large regional sanitary sewer pumping (lift) stations. Utility plans showing the proposed horizontal and vertical layout and the required appurtenances are also completed for all potable water and sanitary sewer designs.

 Soils & Vegetation

Soils and vegetation, along with water, directly affect property values and land uses. To determine the best use and health of your property, WRI performs the following professional services:

1) Land Use Evaluation
Following a comprehensive site visit, our staff provides various economical, productive, environmentally conscious recommendations for your land use.  We analyze your land’s capability to support crops, grazing, fish, wildlife, and development potential (subdivision), and other beneficial uses that match your goals.  WRI investigates groundwater and surface water management possibilities and inventories potential natural resources and land uses. Our research and conclusions are presented to you as organized feasible site plans and maps.  Water budgets and water management options are available.

2) Soil Analysis
Find out the current condition and productivity of your soils and vegetation.  Our competent staff will analyze your soil and determine where and what crops your land can best sustain, while determining erosion-sedimentation status of soils, so you know your best options.  We determine soil moisture conditions, compaction limits and stability for development (dams, wetlands, ponds (particularly fish and aquatic systems), roads, residential development, etc).  WRI inspects your streambank erosion/sedimentation status (see Streambank Stabilization under the Civil & Environmental Engineering section) for possible aquatic enhancement and erosion control.

3) Vegetation Analysis/Plans
WRI visits your property and analyzes the existing vegetation.  We then make recommendations for more sustainable erosion control methods, wildlife enhancement and habitat restoration, and perform vegetation mapping that displays existing vegetative species, including crops, and their condition, while determining what will thrive on specific parcels of your land.  We prepare vegetation plans for any disturbed sites for both natural vegetation and landscaping projects.

4)  Environmental Site Assessments
We research and prepare Environmental Assessments (EA) on land that you are buying, selling, or developing.  WRI is certified, experienced and qualified to complete Phase I, II, and III Reports, including all required research, analysis, and technical writing and presentation.  We have successfully cleaned up several spill sites (phase III clean-up), clandestine methamphetamine labs and other related projects.