Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument
The United States and the State of Montana have agreed to the terms of a compact settling for all time the United States’ federal reserved water rights claims for the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument. The final compact is the product of a year of settlement negotiations between the United States Department of Interior and the Montana Reserved Water Rights Compact Commission. The negotiated compact was ratified by the 2013 Montana Legislature and signed by the Governor. In the coming months the compact will be signed by the Secretary of the Interior and submitted to the Montana Water Court for approval and incorporation into a final decree. The ratified compact subordinates the United States’ 2001 priority date to June 1, 2012, quantifies a federal reserved water right of 160 cfs and 5 cfs in the Judith River and Arrow Creek respectively, institutes an on-stream impoundment limitation, and requires ramping of large new diversions.