The Irrigation Development Grant (IDG) Program supports irrigation projects that increase or sustain irrigated agriculture in Montana. Projects must address a need that will result in a benefit to irrigated agriculture.

Irrigation is the dominant commercial use of Montana’s water and is a key component of Montana’s economy, accounting for 96% of surface and ground water withdrawals. The IDG program was created to increase the value of irrigated crops while preserving natural resources and the environment for future generations.

Current Grant Cycles

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Eligible Applicants:

  • Cities, counties, or other political subdivisions
  • Tribal governments in Montana
  • Private for Profit
  • Private nonprofit 
  • Individuals and Groups in Montana

Eligible Projects:

The project must (1) address development or sustainment of Montana's irrigated agriculture, and (2) initiate or increase the sponsor's water conservation or measurement efforts.  Projects may include equipment replacement (excepting private wells and sprinkler systems such as wheel lines and pivots), infrastructure repair, investigations, and planning.

Projects resulting in adverse effects to renewable resources are ineligible.

Examples of Projects Include: 

  • Increase irrigation efficiencies through water conservation
  • Expand or sustain irrigated acreage
  • Increase production of high-value crops
  • Improve management of irrigation systems
  • Improve inter-basin cooperation among all water users. 

Irrigation development grants range from $300 to $30,000.

Grants may be awarded up to $30,000 for most projects depending on available funding, the intended activities, and based upon a budget that is supported by a clear scope of work.  Projects of state-wide significance may be considered for funding above this level.

State and Local governments such as cities, towns, counties, Tribal governments, and conservation, irrigation, and drainage districts, are eligible for a grant that covers the full cost of the project up to the program maximum of $30,000.00.  Private individuals and entities are eligible for a grant that covers 50% of project costs up to program maximum award of $30,000.00.


 How to Apply: 

Please contact the Program Manager with any questions. Applications can be submitted online through Submittable. 

Application Review and Award 
DNRC solicits, evaluates, and ranks each application.  Funds are awarded based on rank and available funding.

Additional Information

Other Funding for Irrigation Projects:

Renewable Resource Public and Private Loans

Renewable Resource Grants



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Ann Kulczyk
Ann Kulczyk