Confederated Salish and
Kootenai Tribes

On December 10, 2014, the negotiating parties reached agreement that respects tribal rights, while ensuring that irrigators and residents in the region continue to have access to a reliable water supply. The Compact is the result of constructive negotiations where all parties sought common ground in the best interests of the state and Tribe. The Compact, which was negotiated through the Reserved Water Rights Commission and includes recommendations from the legislature’s Water Policy Interim Committee, will make new water available for commercial and irrigation use, end the water administration void on the Flathead Reservation, allow economic development under conditions of legal certainty, and facilitate the resolution of the statewide water adjudication process. In addition, the Compact establishes a technical team with irrigator representation which will implement water compact provisions relating to diversions of water into the irrigation project so that irrigator historic use is protected and tribal in-stream flow targets are met.

Through the Compact, irrigators served by the Flathead Indian Irrigation project can have a water delivery entitlement specific to their lands as long as they are in compliance with their operation and maintenance obligations. This delivery entitlement will be transferrable to those who inherit or purchase those lands. Irrigators will receive a delivery entitlement statement as proof of the entitlement.

The Compact has been subject of more than a decade of negotiations. The 2013 legislature did not approve a previous version of the compact. Over the summer, Governor Bullock and tribal leaders agreed to open limited negotiations on language in the Compact. This revised Compact will be presented to the 2015 legislature for approval. The legislature has approved water compacts for every other tribal reservation in Montana.

*Please also note that the appendices below, dated 2013 or earlier are under refinement, and are now obsolete. Documents that related to the previous compact drafts and the 2013 proposed compact are in the process of being updated - check back for updated proposed compact, appendices.

December 2014 Revised Compact

Thank you for your interest in the proposed water rights compact between the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes and the State of Montana. Revised compact language is currently be drafted and will be posted soon. Please check back for updates.

February 13, 2013 – Previous Documents

October 1, 2012

Public Review Draft Water Rights Compact
Entered into by the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes, the State Of Montana, and United States of America

September 4, 2012

Public Information Meeting

Technical basis for Flathead Indian irrigation Project Water Use Agreement

Background of the EvapoTranspiration Mapping Procedure

August 1, 2012

Public Information Meeting

June 27, 2012

State of Montana’s Proposal for the Resolution of the Off-Reservation Water Right Claims of the CSKT

May 15, 2012

March 7, 2012

July 20, 2011

Draft Administrative Ordinance Provisions

June 29, 2011

April 27, 2011

Proposed New Permits and Changes Flow Chart 

January 7, 2011

September 23, 2008

Hungry Horse Reservoir

Below are links to a cover letter and a report detailing the State's response to the Tribes' proposal for access to up to 90KAF of releases from Hungry Horse Reservoir as a component of a comprehensive water rights settlement. Below is also a link to the Bureau of Reclamation's report modeling the possible effects of the Tribes' proposal.


Dept. of Natural Resources & Conservation
1625 Eleventh Ave.
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 444-2074
Fax: (406) 444-2684