Located in Southwest Montana, the 6,000-acre Shining Mountain Ranch suffered from an insufficient water supply placing limitations on the ranch’s ability to irrigate and produce crops for over 1,500 head of cattle. Ground water is scarce in the area and the two primary surface water sources were unable to deliver a sufficient quantity of water to the fields because of the dated irrigation infrastructure on the ranch. DJ&A assisted Shining Mountain Ranch by first providing a technical condition assessment of their existing infrastructure and then studying the feasibility of a variety of alternatives aimed at improving water collection and delivery.

The two primary alternatives included constructing a new earthen dam and reservoir or improving the existing irrigation infrastructure on the ranch by expanding the capacity of existing storage tanks, improving two critical water intake structures, and improving delivery piping to different areas of the ranch. The ranch owner selected the preferred option of improving the existing infrastructure and DJ&A surveyed the site and modeled the water delivery network, which included several irrigation pipes and ditches.

Improvements to the water intake structures were designed while working closely with the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) to identify the water rights associated with the ranch to ensure compliance with all state and local regulations.

Key Services

  • Conducted site visit and investigation
  • Designed new model of existing water system
  • Performed technical condition assessment with development of alternatives
  • Designed preferred alternative
  • Conducted constructability analysis review
  • Provided cost estimating
  • Designed water irrigation system and developed timed programming
  • Coordinated with local permitting agencies

Value Added

Despite the improvements to the water supply and delivery systems, a timed irrigation program was also developed by DJ&A engineers to ensure that an adequate water supply would be available at all times of the day.