Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 3. Appropriations, Permits, and Certificates of Water Rights

Ground Water Appropriation Right In Closed Basins

85-2-360. Ground water appropriation right in closed basins. (1) An application for a ground water appropriation right in a basin closed pursuant to 85-2-319, 85-2-321, 85-2-330, 85-2-336, 85-2-341, 85-2-343, or 85-2-344 must be accompanied by a hydrogeologic report conducted pursuant to 85-2-361, an aquifer recharge or mitigation plan if required, and an application for a change in appropriation right or rights if necessary.

(2) The department shall use the hydrogeologic report to determine if the proposed appropriation right could result in a net depletion of surface water.

(3) (a) For the purposes of 85-2-360 through 85-2-362, the prediction of net depletion does not mean that an adverse effect on a prior appropriator will occur or if an adverse effect does occur that the entire amount of net depletion is the cause of the adverse effect. A determination of whether or not there is an adverse effect on a prior appropriator as the result of a new appropriation right is a determination that must be made by the department based on the rate, location, and timing of the net depletion that causes the adverse effect relative to the historic beneficial use of the appropriation right that may be adversely affected.

(b) The department may grant a permit for a new appropriation only if the applicant proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the adverse effect would be offset through an aquifer recharge or mitigation plan that meets the requirements of 85-2-362.

History: En. Sec. 14, Ch. 391, L. 2007; amd. Sec. 7, Ch. 335, L. 2013; amd. Sec. 4, Ch. 243, L. 2017.