Personal tools

Return to Top
DNRC Headquarters
1539 Eleventh Ave. Helena, MT 59601
Questions? Email us

Compact Implementation Program

Peoples Creek

DNRC staff attend to the State's obligations under each compact through a wide range of technical, administrative and legal compact implementation duties. The State's compact obligations are described throughout MCA 85-20 and are also found within executive agreements between compact parties. Frequent implementation duties include: providing statutorily required quarterly and annual reports, participation on technical teams, water right and water management assistance to state-based water users and compact parties and administering the disbursement of State settlement funds. In addition, compact implementation work frequently requires resolving unanticipated technical and administrative issues related to large compact infrastructure developments and changed circumstances.

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. 

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

Compact Story Map