Gallatin Local Water Quality District’s, Torie Haraldson

Join us in recognizing Gallatin County’s women in science; working to maintain the health and wellbeing of our community.

I am the Water Quality Technician Specialist at the Gallatin Local Water Quality District (GLWQD). I have worked for the District since 2014, and have previous experience in the field of water resources in both the private and academic sectors.

Why does your work matter? 

GLWQD’s mission is to protect, preserve and improve groundwater and surface water quality within the District’s boundaries. Our interrelated focus areas (Education & Outreach, Monitoring & Research, and Information Collection & Dissemination) mean that our work has the potential to reach every District resident, helping them to be informed citizens of the watershed during this time of significant change.

The region the District serves is experiencing rapid growth. With growth comes challenges to protecting and maintaining good water quality for drinking water, recreation and other uses. As ranchlands become smaller residential and commercial parcels, we are experiencing increases in private well and septic densities, impervious surfaces, and recreational pressure on our rivers and streams.

What do you like most about your work?

My coworkers here at the District and at partner agencies are hardworking, knowledgeable, and friendly people. I learn something new every day, which is both inspiring and humbling.

What do you think is our biggest public health challenge in the next 20/50/100 years?

Climate change.  It will make so many public health issues moving targets.  I was just at a conference where more than one speaker quoted Yogi Berra with a saying that I think summarizes it pretty well: “The future ain’t what it used to be.”

Any advice for someone considering a career in public health?

Be prepared to be a lifelong learner. Current issues evolve and new ones present themselves, funding comes and goes, and your job will always be changing. Embrace it – your job will never be boring!