Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 4. Utilization of Water

Priority -- Recognition And Confirmation Of Changes In Appropriations Issued After July 1, 1973

85-2-401. Priority -- recognition and confirmation of changes in appropriations issued after July 1, 1973. (1) As between appropriators, the first in time is the first in right. Priority of appropriation does not include the right to prevent changes by later appropriators in the condition of water occurrence, such as the increase or decrease of streamflow or the lowering of a water table, artesian pressure, or water level, if the prior appropriator can reasonably exercise the water right under the changed conditions.

(2) Priority of appropriation made under this chapter dates from the filing of an application for a permit with the department, except as otherwise provided in 85-2-301 through 85-2-303, 85-2-306, 85-2-310(8), and 85-2-313.

(3) Priority of appropriation perfected before July 1, 1973, must be determined as provided in part 2 of this chapter.

(4) All changes in appropriation rights actions of the department after July 1, 1973, are recognized and confirmed subject to this part and any terms, conditions, and limitations placed on a change in appropriation authorization by the department.

History: En. Sec. 27, Ch. 452, L. 1973; R.C.M. 1947, 89-891; amd. Sec. 33, Ch. 697, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 17, Ch. 497, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 17, Ch. 213, L. 2007; amd. Sec. 6, Ch. 251, L. 2009.