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DNRC Headquarters
1539 Eleventh Ave. Helena, MT 59601
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Compact Implementation Program

Peoples Creek

Water Right Negotiations

The 1979 Montana Legislature established the Reserved Water Rights Compact Commission (RWRCC) as part of the state-wide general stream adjudication.The RWRCC’s mission was to negotiate settlements with Montana Indian tribes(7) and federal agencies(11) claiming federal reserved water rights within Montana.

The RWRCC's mission was “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).

Recognizing many federal reserves have very senior priority dates, in negotiations, the RWRCC through various methods focused on protecting water rights under state law to the maximum extent possible.

Public Involvement

Citizen, and stakeholder participation was an essential element of each settlement negotiation. It ensured that the RWRCC’s deliberations on Montana’s behalf addressed the concerns of the public and introduced cooperative, common-sense solutions to water use problems.Public meetings were held throughout each negotiation process and further opportunity for public comment existed when the settlements were presented to the Montana Legislature for state ratification.

DNRC staff work on implementation of compacts. Contact the following staff members for assistance:

DNRC Compact Implementation Program

Program Manager – Arne Wick


Water Resource Specialist – Joel Harris


Surface Water Hydrologist (Missoula) Ethan Mace



CSKT-Montana Compact vs. CSKT Claims

CSKT-Montana Compact vs. CSKT Claims.JPG
CSKT Story Map

The Story of Montana's Reserved Water Right Compacts

RWRCC Compacts Story Map.JPG
Compact Story Map