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DNRC Headquarters
1539 Eleventh Ave. Helena, MT 59601
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Water Measurement Program

The Water Measurement Program provides technical information and expertise regarding the installation of measuring and controlling devices on diversions from streams where chronic dewatering causes water use disputes or severe dewatering impacts

Water Measurement

Program Background

Water measurement is the most fundamental tool in water management and the first step in gaining information necessary to manage the resource.

The Montana Water Measurement Program was established by the 1991 legislature and is designed to identify watercourses where chronic dewatering significantly impairs beneficial uses.  The program seeks to resolve conflicts between competing water uses such as agriculture, fisheries, industrial, municipal and recreation. The program also works cooperatively with various watershed groups, providing technical assistance in the form of irrigation water measurement, stream flow measurement and modeling.

The program requires measuring and controlling devices on diversions from watercourses formally designated as chronically dewatered, by statute. This tool can help to reduce water use conflicts on a local level.  Limited grant funding is available to partially offset costs of installing measuring or controlling devices.

Grant Application for Water Measurement or Water Controlling Devices (Headgates)

Current and Continuing Projects



Rules and Regulation

Administrative Rules for Water Measurement MCA 85-2-113

Program Statutes

Department Powers and Duties MCA 85-2-113

Chronically Dewatered Watercourse Objectives MCA 85-2-150

Program Contact

- (406) 444-6648



Stream Gage Oversight Work Group Seeks Your Feedback

The Stream Gage Oversight Work Group (Work Group) is seeking public feedback on the draft Report to the 2022 Montana Water Policy Interim Committee on Stream Gaging in Montana The Work Group was created by the 66th Montana Legislature in response to stakeholders’ concerns over the shutdown of 10 USGS stream gages in Montana. The Work Group conducted a review of the USGS network and developed recommendations to improve network resilience and continuity considering decreased funding. 

Public Comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. August 12, 2022

Submit Electronic Comments here

Or mail to: Montana DNRC, Attn: Paul Azevedo, PO Box 201601, Helena, Montana 59620-1601

Or email:
Do you need to send an attachment? Have more to say than 2,000 characters? Email your comments to 


New release of DNRC web application, StAGE, offers mobile-friendly customer access to surface water data.

Measuring Montana's Streams StoryMap

Stream Gages in MT
Story Map

NEW! Water Supply Planning Guide for MT Municipalities

IWRP Cover

DNRC Stream Gage Program