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Commission issues water compact report

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One frequently asked question about the proposed water compact among the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, the State of Montana and the United States of America is “Who owns the water in Montana?” 

“Under the Montana Constitution, the State of Montana owns all the water in the state. Montana provides water rights for the use of that water,” according to the report prepared by the Montana Reserved Water Rights Compact Commission.

Governor Steve Bullock directed the MRWRCC to prepare a report “addressing the questions raised about the Compact during the 2013 legislative session.” 

The 37-page paper, released to the public on Dec. 12, contains a glossary of terms and abbreviations, a section on frequently asked questions, an overview of the compact and an explanation of legal authority for the compact. The last section is a compilation of questions and comments received by the MRWRCC’s June 4 letter solicitation letter, and MRWRCC’s answers.

Members of the RWRCC are Chris Tweeten, chair; Sen. Debby Barrett R-SD 36; Gene J. Etchart, Rep. Dan Salomon R-HD 12; Sen. Dick Barrett, D SD 47; Mark DeBruycker, Richard Kirn and Rep. Kathleen Williams D-HD 65. 

The report is available online at 

The compact and associated documents are available at:

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