The Montana Water Resources Survey is a comprehensive county by county assessment of Montana’s historical water use. This data was collected and published from 1943 thru 1965 by the State Engineers Office and from 1966 thru 1971 by the Water Conservation Board. Most published surveys consist primarily of two parts: Part I; a known historical account of water use in the county, and Part II; survey maps of current water use at the time of publishing.

The survey data was derived from courthouse records in conjunction with individual contacts with landowners, field investigations and aerial photography. Data collected from various other agencies and resources were also used.

The Montana Water Resources Survey is an excellent resource for various state and federal agencies, water users and the public. As the very nature of the prior appropriation doctrine is based on historical use, these surveys become an invaluable tool used in today’s efforts to adjudicate Montana’s water rights.

Water Resources Survey Publication Availability and Statistics

By County - View Field Notes


BEAVERHEAD: WRS No data available 
BIG HORN: WRS Published 1947 Part 1, Part 2 
BLAINE: WRS Published 1967 
BROADWATER: WRS Published 1956
CARBON: WRS Published 1946 Part 1, Part 2
CARBON: WRS Published 1966
CARBON: County Ground Water Inventory Published 1969
CARTER: WRS Published 1960 
CASCADE: WRS Published 1961
CHOUTEAU: WRS Published 1964
CUSTER: WRS Published 1948 Part 1, Part 2
DANIELS: Original Historic Maps 1909-1913,
County General Highway Map Overlays 1972
DAWSON: WRS Published 1970
DEER LODGE: WRS Published 1955
FALLON: WRS Published 1960
FERGUS: County Irrigation Area Maps 1970-1971 Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5
FLATHEAD: WRS Published 1965
GALLATIN: WRS Published 1961
GARFIELD: County Projection Maps 1970
GLACIER: WRS Published 1969
GOLDEN VALLEY: WRS Published 1949 Part 1, Part 2
GOLDEN VALLEY: County Irrigation Area Maps 1971-1973
GRANITE: WRS Published 1959 
HILL: WRS Published 1967
JEFFERSON: WRS Published 1956
JUDITH BASIN: WRS Published 1963  
LAKE: WRS Published 1963 
LEWIS and CLARK: WRS Published 1965  
LIBERTY: WRS Published 1969   
LINCOLN: WRS Published 1965   
MADISON: WRS Published 1965   
MCCONE: WRS Published 1971   
MEAGHER: WRS Published 1950 Part 1, Part 2
MINERAL: WRS Published 1969

MISSOULA: WRS Published 1960   
MUSSELSHELL: WRS Published 1949 Part 1, Part 2
MUSSELSHELL: County Irrigation Area Maps 1971-1973
PARK: WRS Published 1951 Part 1, Part 2
PETROLEUM: County Irrigation Area Maps 1971-1973  
PHILLIPS: WRS Published 1968   
PONDERA: WRS Published 1964   
POWDER RIVER: WRS Published 1961   
POWELL: WRS Published 1959   
PRAIRIE: WRS Published 1970   
RAVALLI: WRS Published 1965   
RICHLAND: WRS Published 1971   
ROOSEVELT: WRS No data available   
ROSEBUD: WRS Published 1948 Part 1, Part 2
SANDERS: WRS Published 1969   
SHERIDAN: WRS No data available   
SILVER BOW: WRS Published 1955   
STILLWATER: WRS Published 1946 Part 1, Part 2
SWEET GRASS: WRS Published 1950 Part 1, Part 2
TETON: WRS Published 1962 Part 1, Part 2   
TOOLE: WRS Published 1969
: WRS Published 1951   
VALLEY: WRS Published 1968
WHEATLAND: WRS Published 1949 Part 1, Part 2
WHEATLAND: County Drainages and Ditches Base Maps 1971-1973
WIBAUX: WRS Published 1960   
YELLOWSTONE: County Irrigated Area Maps Published 1943  
YELLOWSTONE: County Irrigation Districts Published 1943