The following is a press release from Governor Schweitzer’s office:
(Helena) – To help Montana farmers and municipalities coping with flood damage, Governor Brian Schweitzer today signed an emergency declaration temporarily suspending point-of-diversion changes for water right owners.
“Flooding across Montana has altered river channels, damaged headgates and irrigation canals, and created emergency situations for some domestic water systems,” Schweitzer said. “This order will speed up the recovery process by allowing folks to make repairs as quickly as possible.”
Under normal circumstances, the Montana Water Use Act requires water right holders to submit a change application to the Montana Dept. of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) to alter points of diversion for irrigation or water-diversion structures on streams.
Schweitzer noted the time required for preparing, submitting and processing applications creates an added burden when many farmers are already struggling to repair infrastructure and get ready for irrigation season.
DNRC Director Mary Sexton said that while the emergency order is in effect, water right holders who plan changes in their existing point of diversion need only notify their local DNRC water office.
“Folks just need to stop into their local DNRC Water Resources Division office and fill out a form to let us know where their temporary point of diversion will be,” Sexton said. “We can also give them information on how to obtain a permanent change if necessary.”
The emergency executive order will expire on December 31, 2011.
CLICK HERE to see executive order.
Source: Office of Governor Schweitzer
Posted by Haylie Shipp