Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 2. Adjudication of Water Rights

Benchmarks -- Action Taken If Not Met -- Claims Examination Priority

85-2-271. (Temporary) Benchmarks -- action taken if not met -- claims examination priority. (1) (a) The water court shall prioritize basins for the purpose of claims examination and reexamination by the department.

(b) The chief water judge has the authority to order that reexamination be completed for a certain basin in a higher priority than claims examination. If the chief water judge issues an order requiring the department to reexamine claims rather than examining claims, the number of claims that were reexamined must be counted against the amount of claims that the department is required to examine for that period.

(2) (a) The benchmarks that are provided in subsection (2)(b) must be met. If the benchmarks are not met, money for water adjudication may not be included in the department's base budget.

(b) The benchmarks are as follows:

(i) the department shall reexamine 10,000 verified claims by June 30, 2017;

(ii) the department shall reexamine 30,000 verified claims by June 30, 2019;

(iii) the department shall examine or reexamine 65,000 claims by June 30, 2022;

(iv) the department shall examine or reexamine 85,000 claims by June 30, 2023;

(v) the department shall examine or reexamine 95,000 claims by June 30, 2024; and

(vi) the department shall examine or reexamine all timely filed claims by June 30, 2025. (Terminates June 30, 2028--secs. 10, 11, Ch. 269, L. 2015.)

History: En. Sec. 2, Ch. 288, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 4, Ch. 319, L. 2007; amd. Sec. 5, Ch. 269, L. 2015; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 154, L. 2021.