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(1)  An applicant who desires to change the point of diversion, place of use, purpose of use, or place of storage of a water right must file an application to change a water right (Form No. 606) and any applicable addendums.  

(2)  The department will not accept a change application if any of the following items are missing:

(a)  the water right element(s) proposed for change;

(b)  the water right number for each water right changed;

(c)  the proposed diverted flow rate and diverted volume of water for each changed right;

(d)  the applicant's signature;

(e)  for projects proposed in sage grouse habitats designated as a core area, general habitat, or a connectivity area, a letter from the Montana Sage Grouse Habitat Conservation Program stating the project is consistent with Executive Orders 12-2015 and 21-2015; and

(f)  the appropriate filing fee in ARM 36.12.103.

(3)  An application for a temporary change must meet the same rule requirements as those for a permanent change application.

(4)  In addition to the change application rules, an applicant proposing to temporarily change to instream flow must submit the information required under 85-2-407 and 85-2-408, MCA, or 85-2-436, MCA.

(5)  Only an owner of record, as shown in the department's water right records, can apply to change a water right, except if a change application is for a water right lease pursuant to 85-2-436, MCA, the change applicant must be the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

(a)  For water rights that are co-owned, all owners shall sign the application form consenting to the change.

(6)  Multiple water rights may be changed on one application if the place of use and purpose will be exactly the same for each water right, and all water rights will share a common conveyance system.

(7)  The time needed to complete and put the change into operation must be identified.  Information must be included in the application materials that justify the requested time.

(8)  For a change application that only adds stock tanks to an existing stock water system:

(a)  Form No. 606 and any applicable addendum(s) must be completed and must describe the details of the proposed project;

(b)  the applicant must explain the extent of the historical use, including the flow rate and volume, for each water right proposed for change;

(c)  the applicant must provide information to show that the historical diverted flow rate will be adequate for the new use; and

(d)  for changes from instream stock rights based on 85-2-222, MCA, to stock tank(s), the maximum flow rate authorized for the new use will be 35 gallons per minute unless the applicant demonstrates a higher historical rate.


History: 85-2-113, 85-2-302, MCA; IMP, 85-2-302, 85-2-402, MCA; NEW, 2023 MAR p. 1872, Eff. 1/1/24.

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