The Roundup -

The Whats, Whens, Hows and Whys of Applying for a Richland County Water Reservation Through the Conservation District

Thursday, March 2 at 10 am


Duane Claypool and Ann Kulczyk, Program Specialists, MT DNRC, Conservation and

Resource Development Division

Conservation District Water Reservations for irrigation. How do I apply? What is the advantage of using reserved water? What are my responsibilities as a water reservation user? Presented by Duane Claypool and Ann Kulczyk, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.

In 1978 the Montana Board of Natural Resources and Conservation granted water reservations to several entities in the Yellowstone River Basin, the Missouri River Basin followed in 1985 and 1989. One of which was Conservation Districts for irrigation development. This water was reserved in order to ensure that an adequate water supply would be available for future agricultural expansion. The advantage to using Conservation District reserved water is the priority date. The date for the Yellowstone is December 15, 1978 and the Missouri is July 1, 1989. This is important if you are trying to develop irrigation or need to add to your current water rights in order to expand your acres. Use of reserved water will not infringe on any of the water rights decreed as a result of the statewide adjudication process. Currently Richland County has eight active reservations on the Yellowstone River and twenty-four on the Missouri River. They have over 15,000 acre feet of water left for allocation on the Missouri River and over 40,000 acre feet on the Yellowstone. Certain rules regarding the water reservation must be adhered to by both the conservation district and the water user. These rules are based on state statutes, board orders and conservation district administrative procedures. To apply for Conservation District reserved Water contact the Richland County Conservation District or your local conservation district. The application review and approval process can take four to nine months on a complete application.


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