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Town mulling options as Milk River dries up


Before the St. Mary siphon burst, the Milk River's flow rate was approximately 17 and a half cubic metres per second.

Monday, it was less than one cubic metre per second.

The water level is also roughly 60 centimetres lower.

While such a drastic drop may be alarming, the town says residents have stayed calm.

"Things have been a little quiet on that end. Some questions, very generic questions about whether or not there's actual restrictions in place and what other things can they do to help conserve water," said Kelly Lloyd, CAO of the Town of Milk River.

The St. Mary siphon helped divert water from the St. Mary River into the Milk River.

Without the siphon, the Milk River will have its flow reduced to natural levels.

The Town of Milk River has an advisory asking residents to reduce water use.

"We know there has been some reduced consumption, which we are greatly appreciative of our residents and businesses," Lloyd said.

Some businesses like the Riverside Golf Course are taking the advisory seriously.

The course pumps from the Milk River to water the course.

Now, they're only using about a quarter of the water they did before the siphon broke.

"For now, we're trying to do what we can to help conserve water. Just to make sure that the town has enough supply and also try to keep our golf course viable," said Doug Smith, president of the Riverside Community Golf Society.

The town isn't sure if or when water restrictions may need to be implemented.

"Still just trying to gather information to see what steps we do need to take moving forward. Whether or not we do place some actual restrictions in place," Lloyd said.

The town hopes to have a water-use plan in place this week.

The Bureau of Reclamation is planning to assess the damage to the siphon in Montana within the next few days. Top Stories

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