The Montana Water Compact
The Compact protects existing water rights and secures critical water resources for Montanans on and off the Reservation—which is why Congressional approval and implementation of the Compact is so essential for water users in our state. Once passed, the settlement legislation will bring generate new and sustainable economic activity to Montana.
The Compact provides stability and secures key water resources in Montana by:
Current Status of the Compact
Awaiting Congressional Action
Montanans depend on our water resources. We need your help to make sure they are protected for future generations.
Drafted Water Compact
Over the past decade, the Compact was developed through an open process that included the Reserved Water Rights Compact Commission, the Department of Interior, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, along with public input from farmers, ranchers and other irrigators, citizens, business owners, and legislators, as well as state and local government officials.
Signed into Montana Law
In 2015, the Compact was passed by both houses of the Montana State Legislature and then signed into law by Governor Steve Bullock and supported by Attorney General Tim Fox. The legislative passage of the Compact was the result of overwhelming support from farmers, ranchers, irrigators, and water users across Montana.
Referred for Federal Ratification
In 2016, the Compact was sent to the Bureau of Indian Affairs at the Department of Interior, where an appointed team is reviewing the details of the Compact. Next, the Compact will be transferred to a Congressional committee and then presented to Congress to be ratified.
Preparing for Compact Implementation
Montana’s Compact Implementation Technical Team (CITT) is studying how best to implement the provisions of the Compact, measuring stream flows, and advising on operational improvements as called for in the Compact—a process that relies on local voices at public meetings.