The Division carries out its duties for the purpose of promoting the general welfare and prosperity of the people of Montana. Sound coordination of the development and utilization of the state’s waters allows the Division to protect existing uses and to promote adequate future supplies for domestic, industrial, agricultural, recreation, the conservation of water for wildlife, aquatic life and other beneficial uses.
State permitted activities in designated sage grouse habitat are subject to Executive Orders 12-2015 and 21-2015. Consult with the Sage Grouse Habitat Conservation Program prior to submitting a permit application. See the Program webpage at https://sagegrouse.mt.gov for a map of designated habitats and more information.
The document provides general guidance in applying the Montana First Judicial Court's recent Order on Petition for Judicial Review in Clark Fork Coalition v. Tubbs. The CFC decision ordered that the DNRC’s 1987 Rule defining a “combined appropriation” of two or more “exempt” wells be reinstated. This order took effect on 11‐21‐2014.
The plan is a synthesis of the vision and efforts of DNRC and regional Basin Advisory Councils established in Montana's four main river basins and addresses key water management related issues facing Montana.
Information for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes-Montana Compact negotiations and implementation will be posted on this site as it becomes available.
By filing your exempt water right, a water right in existence before 1973 and exempted from the two previous mandatory claim filing periods, you are able to enforce the right against all other timely filed water rights in the state and are entitled to receive notice of water right proceedings in your basin.
Water use options for oil well development; water rights, conservation districts, water reservations and the oil boom; and guidance for municipalities.
Historical Benefical Use Explained (Video)
Who should I contact?
The Water Resources Regional Offices are here to help! Please contact your local office for assistance.
Billings: (406) 247-4415
Bozeman: (406) 586-3136
Glasgow: (406) 228-2561
Havre: (406) 265-5516
Helena: (406) 444-6999
Kalispell: (406) 752-2288
Lewistown: (406) 538-7459
Missoula: (406) 721-4284