Personal tools

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

Records Unit

custer county fence

History of the Water Right Records Unit

The Montana Water Use act (Title 85, Chapter 2, MCA) of 1973 established a centralized records system. Prior to 1973, water rights were recorded, but not consistently, in county courthouses throughout the state.

DNRC Water Rights Bureau maintains the central records system for all permits, changes and certificates issued after June 30, 1973 and for all existing water rights files as part of the statewide adjudication.


Research for Water Rights

Water Reservations Final Order


Water Right Files Maintained by Water Right Records Unit

  • Adjudication – files developed before 1973
  • New Appropriations – files developed after 1973
  • Authorization to Change files
  • Powder River files


Services Offered by Water Right Records Unit

  • PDF images of water right files
  • On site review of original file
  • Paper copies of files will be sent to a printer and a charge will be associated to that cost.
  • Electronic copies of water right abstracts
  • CD copies of decrees


If you need further assistance, please contact: , Records Program Manager, (406) 444-6694