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DNRC Headquarters
1625 Eleventh Ave. Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 444-2074 | Fax: (406) 444-2684
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Reserved Water Rights Compact Commission

River in Sanders County

The 1979 Montana Legislature established the Reserved Water Rights Compact Commission (RWRCC) as part of the state-wide general stream adjudication process.

The RWRCC is to conclude compacts for the equitable division and apportionment of waters between:

  • the State of Montana, its people and the several Indian tribes claiming reserved water rights within the state (MCA 85-2-701), and
  • the State, its people and the federal government claiming non-Indian reserved water within the state (MCA 85-2-703).


Water Rights Negotiations

The RWRCC is authorized to negotiate settlements with Montana Indian tribes and federal agencies claiming reserved water rights within the State of Montana.

Reserved water rights have been claimed and negotiated for seven Montana Indian reservations, national parks, forests and wildlife refuges, and federally designated wild and scenic rivers.

The deadline to file claims for tribes and federal agencies in the Montana statewide stream adjudication was suspended until June 30, 2015 pending completion of negotiations by the RWRCC. Settlements are negotiated by the Compact Commission on behalf of the State of Montana and are ratified by the Montana Legislature and the tribes, as well as approved by the appropriate federal authorities.

Public Involvement

Citizen participation is an essential element of each settlement negotiation. It ensures the Commission’s deliberations on Montana’s behalf address the concerns of the public and incorporates legal solutions to water use problems.

Public meetings are held throughout the negotiation process and further opportunity for public comment exists when the settlements are presented to the Montana Legislature for approval.

Compact Commission and Team Members

The RWRCC is composed of nine members appointed by Montana government representatives.

Member Name

Appointed by

Chris Tweeten, Chariman

Montana Attorney General’s Office

Sen. Debby Barrett

President of the Montana Senate

Sen. Dick Barrett

President of the Montana Senate

Rep. Daniel Salomon

Speaker of the House of Representatives

Rep. Kathleen Williams

Speaker of the House of Representatives

Dorothy Bradley

Governor’s Office

Mark DeBruyker

Governor’s Office

Gene Etchart

Governor’s Office

Richard Kirn

Governor’s Office

DNRC professional staff work on implementation of compacts.

Contact the following DNRC staff members for assistance: 

Water Management Bureau: Compact Implementation Section

Water Resource Specialist, Section Supervisor – Arne Wick


Water Resource Specialist – Joel Harris


Surface Water Hydrologist  Ethan Mace




Contact Address


Dept. of Natural Resources & Conservation/RWRCC

1424 Ninth Avenue

Helena, MT 59620-1601