Montana Code Annotated 2023



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

Aquifer Recharge Or Mitigation Plans In Closed Basins -- Minimum Requirements

85-2-362. Aquifer recharge or mitigation plans in closed basins -- minimum requirements. (1) An applicant whose hydrogeologic report conducted pursuant to 85-2-361 predicts that there will be a net depletion of surface water shall submit an aquifer recharge or mitigation plan. An aquifer recharge or mitigation plan must include:

(a) where and how the water in the plan will be put to beneficial use;

(b) when and where, generally, water for aquifer recharge or mitigation will be required;

(c) the amount of water that is required for aquifer recharge or mitigation;

(d) how the proposed project or beneficial use for which the aquifer recharge or mitigation plan is required will be operated;

(e) evidence that an application for a change in appropriation right, if necessary, has been submitted;

(f) evidence of water availability;

(g) evidence of how the aquifer recharge or mitigation plan will offset the required amount of net depletion of surface water in a manner that will offset an adverse effect on a prior appropriator; and

(h) evidence that the appropriate water quality permits have been granted pursuant to Title 75, chapter 5, as required by 75-5-410 and 85-2-364.

(2) In addition to the requirements of subsection (1), an aquifer recharge plan must include a description of the process by which water will be reintroduced to the aquifer.

(3) The department may not require an applicant, through an aquifer recharge or mitigation plan, to provide more water than the quantity needed to offset the adverse effects on a prior appropriator caused by the net depletion.

(4) An appropriation right that relies on an aquifer recharge or mitigation plan must require that the aquifer recharge or mitigation plan be exercised when the appropriation right is exercised.

History: En. Sec. 16, Ch. 391, L. 2007; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 104, L. 2009; amd. Sec. 9, Ch. 335, L. 2013.