Project Details

Updating Montana’s Water Management Data Systems

Client: Department of Natural Resources and Conservation
Time Span: March 2016 - June 2021
Location: Helena, MT


As an expert in water-rights engineering, RESPEC provides clients with a wide range of data and technology services to help government agencies modernize, upgrade, and better serve the public. Since 2016, RESPEC’s Data & Technology Solutions team has worked in close collaboration with the state of Montana to upgrade its Oracle Forms and Reports application for Project Trident, formerly known as the Water Rights Information System (WRIS). Project Trident bridges the state with the public as the state monitors usage data for every existing water source in Montana. On the public side, individuals need to legally use water but not own it, which means understanding and managing their water rights regarding real estate ownership or use of adjacent waterbodies. In the early phase of the project, RESPEC’s team assured the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (MDNRC) that the proposed software architecture and design would work within conservative funding goals. Our team performed the Proof-of-Concept phase and proved that the proposed architecture and technology would effectively upgrade the MDNRC’s unsupported Oracle application, which was almost 20-years old.

With RESPEC’s help, the MDNRC will transition to a new web-based application that will culminate in a user-friendly public website for monitoring water rights. Our team is currently active in Trident’s Phase 2 tasks and focused on migrating Oracle Reports to Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS). By using Microsoft SSRS, RESPEC will provide a highly supportable, scalable application that is far less expensive to maintain than the previous application. In Phase 3 of the project, RESPEC will redesign the application and move the existing technology to a new web-based platform. Our team will also provide training to MDNRC staff to begin using this sustainable new application.  In Phase 4, we will update and implement the public-facing web structure so that internet users can download their water-rights abstracts from the MDNRC website. The final phase will include implementing ad hoc reporting. As an industry leader in data and technology solutions with more than 30 years of experience in water resources and water-rights engineering, RESPEC has designed high security in Project Trident to support the MDNRC’s mission and to protect its massive amount of data. Our solutions for tracking water rights and usage are robust and broadly applicable to many state agencies concerned with safely storing and using confidential data.