Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 1. General Provisions

Policy Considerations

85-1-101. Policy considerations. It is hereby declared as follows:

(1) The general welfare of the people of Montana, in view of the state's population growth and expanding economy, requires that water resources of the state be put to optimum beneficial use and not wasted.

(2) The public policy of the state is to promote the conservation, development, and beneficial use of the state's water resources to secure maximum economic and social prosperity for its citizens.

(3) The state, in the exercise of its sovereign power, acting through the department of natural resources and conservation, shall coordinate the development and use of the water resources of the state so as to effect full utilization, conservation, and protection of its water resources.

(4) The development and utilization of water resources and the efficient, economic distribution thereof are vital to the people in order to protect existing uses and to assure adequate future supplies for domestic, industrial, agricultural, and other beneficial uses.

(5) The water resources of the state must be protected and conserved to assure adequate supplies for public recreational purposes and for the conservation of wildlife and aquatic life.

(6) The public interest requires the construction, operation, and maintenance of a system of works for the conservation, development, storage, distribution, and utilization of water, which construction, operation, and maintenance is a single object and is in all respects for the welfare and benefit of the people of the state.

(7) It is necessary to coordinate local, state, and federal water resource development and utilization plans and projects through a single agency of state government, the department of natural resources and conservation.

(8) The greatest economic benefit to the people of Montana can be secured only by the sound coordination of development and utilization of water resources with the development and utilization of all other resources of the state.

(9) Any attempt to gain control of or speculate on large quantities of ground water of the state of Montana is not in the interest of the people and is to be restricted.

(10) To achieve these objectives and to protect the waters of Montana from diversion to other areas of the nation, it is essential that a comprehensive, coordinated multiple-use water resource plan be progressively formulated, to be known as the "state water plan".

History: En. Sec. 2, Ch. 158, L. 1967; amd. Sec. 119, Ch. 253, L. 1974; R.C.M. 1947, 89-101.2; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 631, L. 1979.