Montana Code Annotated 2023



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

Stream Depletion Zones -- Establishment -- Rulemaking

85-2-380. Stream depletion zones -- establishment -- rulemaking. (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (2), the department may establish a stream depletion zone by rule if:

(a) the stream depletion zone lies within 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; and

(b) there exists a hydrogeologic assessment for the area where the stream depletion zone is proposed that was conducted by either the ground water investigation program established by 85-2-525 or by a hydrogeologist or a qualified licensed professional engineer.

(2) If the provisions of subsection (1) are met, the department shall initiate rulemaking to establish a stream depletion zone upon receipt of a petition signed by:

(a) a municipality, county, conservation district, or local water quality district formed under Title 7, chapter 13, part 45; or

(b) the owners of at least 15% of the flow rate of the surface water rights in the area estimated to be affected, the boundary of which cannot exceed the boundaries of the drainage subdivisions established by the office of water data coordination, United States geological survey, and used by the water court.

(3) The department shall provide notice of the rulemaking by first-class mail to an appropriator of water who, according to the records of the department, may be affected by the proposed stream depletion zone.

(4) In establishing rules related to stream depletion zones, the department shall consult with the ground water investigation program and the ground water assessment steering committee established by 2-15-1523.

History: En. Sec. 3, Ch. 421, L. 2013.