(1) The Willow Creek Basin means
the Willow Creek drainage area, a tributary of the Bitterroot River hydrologic
basin, 76H, in Ravalli County, Montana. The Willow Creek Basin designated as
the closure area is all that drainage and headwaters originating in the
Sapphire Mountains, Township 6 North, Range 18 West, MPM and flowing westerly
through Township 6 North, Range 19 West, to its confluence with the Republican
Ditch, at a point in Section 4, Township 6 North, Range 20 West, MPM, Ravalli
County, Montana. The entire Willow Creek drainage from its headwaters to its
confluence with the Republican Ditch, including all tributaries, is contained
in the closure area as outlined on file map page 5.
(2) The department shall reject all surface
water applications to appropriate water within the Willow Creek Basin for any
diversions, including infiltration galleries, for any consumptive uses of water
during the period from May 1 through September 30.
(3) Applications for nonconsumptive uses
closure period shall be received and processed. Any permit if issued shall be modified
or conditioned to provide that there will be no decrease in the source of
supply, no disruption in the stream conditions, and no adverse effect to prior
appropriators within the reach of stream between the point of diversion and the
point of return. The applicant for a nonconsumptive use shall provide
sufficient factual information upon which the department can determine the
applicants ability to meet the conditions imposed by this rule.
(4) Applications for groundwater shall be accepted, however the applicant shall
provide sufficient factual information upon which the department can determine
whether or not the source of the groundwater is part of or substantially or
directly connected to surface water. If it is found that the proposed diversion
of groundwater could cause a calculable reduction in the surface water flow
during the closure period the application shall be rejected. A calculable
reduction means a theoretical reduction based on credible information as
opposed to a measured reduction. If the applicant fails to submit sufficient
factual information as required the application shall be considered defective
and shall be processed pursuant to 85-2-302, MCA.
(5) Temporary emergency appropriations of water as defined in ARM 36.12.101 and
36.12.105 shall be exempt from this rule.
(6) This rule applies only to applications received by the department after the date of
adoption of this rule.
(7) The department may, if it determines changed circumstances justify it, reopen the
basin to additional appropriations and amend this rule accordingly after public
notice and hearing.