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DNRC Headquarters
1539 Eleventh Ave. Helena, MT 59601
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Dry-Redwater Regional Water System

A fourth project would bring regional water to portions of Garfield, McCone, Richland, Dawson and Prairie Counties. A steering committee was formed in September of 2003, and a survey of the citizens of the area was completed in 2004. The Dry-Redwater Regional Water Authority was established in mid-2005. Due to increased demands for rural wastewater services south of Sidney in rural Richland County, at the request of the Richland County Commissioners, the Authority also became a rural wastewater collection and treatment authority in 2014.

Dry Redwater Regional Water Authority Summary 

The Dry-Redwater Regional Water Project was established due to interest from local officials and residents of Garfield, McCone, and portions of Dawson, Richland and Prairie Counties. 



  • The Montana Legislature appropriated $30,000 to fund a feasibility study of a regional water system for the area. DNRC contracted with McCone Conservation District for administration of that Legislative grant.
  • A steering committee was formed, a phone survey completed, and a request for technical qualifications (for engineering services) was advertised.
  • Requests for grants through other entities met with considerable success, with a total of over $90,000 obtained for purposes of completion of all phases of the feasibility report.


  • Steering committee selected an engineering firm to compile a feasibility study.
  • Work related to the study continued throughout 2004 and 2005


  • The Dry-Redwater Regional Water Authority, a legally constituted local governmental entity, was registered with the Montana Secretary of State's office.
  • The Montana Legislature appropriated $78,000 to the Authority for the 06-07 Biennium for support of additional investigation and study into this regional water project.


  • Draft feasibility report completed/finalized

Current engineering estimates of the cost for the expanded system are approximately $260 million. The need for construction of a surface water treatment plant and the considerable distances involved in piping treated water account for the bulk of the cost. The Authority's Board has requested preparation of authorizing legislation for submittal to Congress by members of the Montana delegation. Drafts of that legislation have been reviewed with the intent to see it introduced in the second half of the 110th Congress.

Negotiations with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies are essentially complete, with respect to locating the intake facility in the Dry Arm of Fort Peck Lake. This work also involved plans for the purchase of water from the Federal government from the available pool in the reservoir.

Other work being carried out by the Authority include: ongoing sign-ups of rural users of the system; completion of details of purchase of a water treatment plant site from a McCone County landowner in a area near the planned intake location, between the Dry Arm and the Town of Circle; preliminary environmental studies, including a survey of the nature and occurrence of wetlands, via contract with a qualified environmental studies consulting firm.


PO BOX 201601

1539 11th Avenue

Helena, MT 59601

Phone 406-444-1879

Fax 406-444-6721