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Water Rights Data Explanations

Dated material. This report contains DNRC recorded ACTIVE water rights up to the data currency date, and may not provide other water right information that may be useful for your research needs. New applications, updated ownership, revocations of permits, withdrawals of water rights or corrections constantly occur. This report is provided as a public service by the State of Montana. User assumes total responsibility for verification.

Rate and Volume
Water Right ID Code: e.g. 41I 89074 00 STATEMENT OF CLAIM
Drainage Basin Codes e.g. the "41I" above
Type of Water Right Codes: e.g. the "' STATEMENT OF CLAIM " above
Type or Historic Water Right Codes
Purpose (use) Codes
Irrigation Method Codes
Diversion Method Codes
County Codes
Table Headings for Water Rights


Flow Rate & Volume

  • flow rate units
    • c = cfs, cubic feet per second
    • g = gpm, gallons per minute
  • volume is acre feet per year

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Water Right ID

An alpha-numeric code represents the water right id. The code categorizes a type of water record. An
entire water right consists of a drainage basin code, an eight digit water right number, and/or a
two digit extended id number and the water right type.

An example of a water right id is "41I 89074 00 STATEMENT OF CLAIM " where

  • basin code = 41I
  • water right number = 89074
  • extended id = 00
  • water right type = " STATEMENT OF CLAIM "

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Drainage Basins

Columbia River Basin

KOOTENAI

76B Yaak River

76C Fisher River

76D Kootenai River

FLATHEAD

76I Middle Fork Flathead River

76J South Fork Flathead River

76K Swan River

76L Flathead River below Flathead Lake

76LJ Flathead River to and including Flathead Lake

UPPER CLARK FORK

76E Rock Creek tributary of Clark Fork River

76F Blackfoot River

76G Clark Fork above Blackfoot River

76GJ Flint Creek

76H Bitterroot River

LOWER CLARK FORK

76M Clark Fork between Blackfoot River and Flathead River

76N Clark Fork below Flathead Lake

Missouri River Basin

UPPER MISSOURI TRIBUTARIES

41A Red Rock River

41B Beaverhead River

41C Ruby River

41D Big Hole River

41E Boulder River tributary of Jefferson River

41F Madison River

41G Jefferson River

41H Gallatin River

MISSOURI-SMITH

41I Missouri River above Holter Dam

41J Smith River

41QJ Missouri River from Holter Dam to Sun River

41U Dearborn River

MISSOURI-SUN-MARIAS

41K Sun River

41L Cut Bank River

41M Two Medicine River

41N Willow Creek

41O Teton River

41P Marias River

41Q Missouri River from Sun River to Marias River

MISSOURI-MUSSELSHELL

40A Musselshell River above Roundup

40B Flatwillow Creek including Box Elder Creek

40C Musselshell River below Roundup

41R Arrow Creek

41S Judith River

41T Missouri River from Marias River to and including Bullwhacker Creek

40EJ Missouri River between Bullwhacker Creek and Musselshell River

MILK

40F Milk River above Fresno Reservoir

40G Sage Creek

40H Big Sandy Creek

40I Peoples Creek

40J Milk River between Fresno Reservoir and Whitewater Creek

40K Whitewater Creek

40L Frenchman Creek

40M Beaver Creek tributary of Milk River

40N Rock Creek tributary Milk River

40O Milk River below Whitewater Creek and including Porcupine Creek

MISSOURI-FORT PECK

40D Dry Creek

40E Missouri River between Musselshell River and Fort Peck Dam

40P Redwater River

40Q Poplar River

40R Big Muddy Creek

40S Missouri River below Fort Peck Dam

40T St. Mary River

Yellowstone River Basin (and Little Missouri Drainage)

UPPER YELLOWSTONE

43A Shields River

43B Yellowstone River above and including Bridger Creek

43BJ Boulder River tributary of Yellowstone River

43BV Sweet Grass Creek

43C Stillwater River

43D Clarks Fork Yellowstone River

43QJ Yellowstone River from Bridger Creek to Clarks Fork Yellowstone River

MIDDLE YELLOWSTONE

43E Pryor Creek

43N Shoshone River

43O Little Bighorn River

43P Bighorn River below Greybull River

43Q Yellowstone River between Clarks Fork Yellowstone and Big Horn River

42A Rosebud Creek

42B Tongue River above and including Hanging Woman Creek

42C Tongue River below Hanging Woman Creek

42KJ Yellowstone River between Bighorn and Tongue River

LOWER YELLOWSTONE

42I Little Powder River

42J Powder River below Clear Creek

42K Yellowstone River between Tongue and Powder River

42L O'Fallon Creek

42M Yellowstone River below Powder River

LITTLE MISSOURI

39E Box Elder Creek

39F Little Missouri River above Little Beaver Creek

39FJ Little Beaver Creek

39G Beaver Creek tributary Little Missouri River

39H Little Missouri below Little Beaver Creek

38H Belle Fourche River above Cheyenne River

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Water Right Type

(former legacy database identification letter code indicated at end of line)

62-73 GROUND WATER RECORD pre 1973 - acknowledgments for groundwater ( 1962-73 - over 100 gpm) -K-
CONSERVATION DISTRICT RECORD post 1973 - completed portion of water reservation -R-
CONVERTED TERMINATES post 1973 - terminated new appropriation file -T-
EXEMPT RIGHT pre 1973 - exempt existing right for stock and domestic uses -E-
   
GROUND WATER CERTIFICATE post 1973 - certificate for groundwater use -C-
INTER-STATE CLAIM pre 1973 - noted inter state transfer of water -X-
IRRIGATION DISTRICT pre 1973 - irrigation district filed claim -Z-
POWDER RIVER DECLARATION pre 1973 - Powder River Basin declaration of existing water right -D-
   
PROVISIONAL PERMIT post 1973 - provisional permit for water (surface or large groundwater) -P-
RESERVED CLAIM pre 1973 - federal reserve claim -U-
STATEMENT OF CLAIM pre 1973 - claim of existing water right -A-B- OR -W-
STOCKWATER PERMIT post 1973 - approved provisional permit for stockwater -P-
   
TEMPORARY PERMIT post 1973 - temporary permit -Q-
WATER RESERVATION post 1973 - approved water reservation -M-

Type of Historic Right

u=use right, f=filed right, d=decreed right, r=reserved right

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Purpose of Use

Code

Description

Shown In Map Legend?

DM

DOMESTIC

Yes

IR

IRRIGATION

Yes

LG

LAWN AND GARDEN

Yes

MC

MUNICIPAL

Yes

ST

STOCK

Yes

     
All purposes listed  below are shown together as category “Other” in map legend

AS

AGRICUTURAL SPRAYING

 

AG

AUGMENTATION

 

CM

COMMERCIAL

 

DE

DEWATERING

 

EC

EROSION CONTROL

 

FP

FIRE PROTECTION

 

FW

FISH AND WILDLIFE

 

FR

FISH RACEWAYS

 

FS

FISHERY

 

FC

FLOOD CONTROL

 

FF

FLOW THROUGH FISH POND

 

GE

GEOTHERMAL

 

GH

GEOTHERMAL HEATING

 

IN

INDUSTRIAL

 

IS

INSTITUTIONAL

 

MN

MINING

 

MD

MULTIPLE DOMESTIC

 

MN

MINING

 

NV

NAVIGATION

 

OT

OBSERVATION AND TESTING

 

OF

OIL WELL FLOODING

 

OP

OTHER PURPOSE

 

XX

OTHER PURPOSE

 

PA

POLLUTION ABATEMENT

 

PG

POWER GENERATION

 

PN

POWER GENERATION, NONCONSUMPTIVE

 

RC

RECREATION

 

SL

SALE

 

SC

SEDIMENT CONTROL

 

SG

STORAGE

 

XO

UNKNOWN

 

WF

WATER FOWL

 

WI

WILDLIFE

 

WW

WILDLIFE/WATERFOWL

 

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Method of Irrigation Codes

  • border dike
  • contour ditch
  • controlled subirrigation
  • ditch system
  • flood
  • furrow
  • furrow/flood
  • multiple methods
  • natural overflow
  • natural subirrigation
  • other
  • parallel ditch
  • spreader dike
  • sprinkler
  • sprinkler/flood
  • sprinkler/furrow
  • sprinkler/furrow/flood

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Means of Diversion Codes

  • bucket
  • dam
  • dam/pit
  • developed spring
  • dike
  • direct from source
  • ditch
  • ditch/gravity flow
  • diversion dam
  • drain ditch
  • electric pump
  • flowing
  • fueled pump
  • geothermal heating
  • gravity flow/direct
  • hand pump
  • headgate
  • headgate w/ditch or pipeline/flood and dike
  • infiltration gallery
  • instream
  • multiple
  • natural overflow
  • other
  • other diversion
  • pipeline
  • pit
  • pit/dam
  • pump
  • pump/flood and dike
  • pump/gravity flow
  • pump/headgate w/ditch or pipeline
  • pump/headgate w/ditch or pipeline/flood and dike
  • spring box
  • subirrigation
  • sump
  • undeveloped spring
  • unknown
  • well
  • windmill

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Counties in Montana

  • BE Beaverhead GV Golden Valley PR Powder River
  • BH Big Horn HI Hill PW Powell
  • BL Blaine JB Judith Basin RA Ravalli
  • BR Broadwater JE Jefferson RI Richland
  • CA Carbon LA Lake RO Roosevelt
  • CH Choteau LC Lewis & Clark RS Rosebud
  • CR Carter LI Liberty SA Sanders
  • CS Cascade LN Lincoln SB Silver Bow
  • CU Custer MA Madison SG Sweet Grass
  • DA Daniels MC McCone SH Sheridan
  • DL Deer Lodge ME Meagher ST Stillwater
  • DW Dawson MI Mineral TE Teton
  • FA Fallon MS Missoula TO Toole
  • FE Fergus MU Musselshell TR Treasure
  • FL Flathead PA Park VA Valley
  • GA Gallatin PE Petroleum WH Wheatland
  • GF Garfield PH Phillips WI Wibaux
  • GL Glacier PI Prairie YE Yellowstone
  • GR Granite PO Pondera YP Yellowstone Park

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Table Headings for Water Right Information

What follows is an alphabetical listing of the various headings in the index tables. This listing is all-inclusive of both online and downloaded tabular information from the query applications, and also includes headings from water right data located on the ftp site. For further information about this specific water right data, contact the DNRC. These data are for use in GIS applications, but has some very important details and disclaimers that must be understood prior to use of the data.

Index and Download Table Headings

  • Acre – the acres within an individual place of use, usually irrigation acreage
  • Acreage – the area for a given place of use
  • Animal Units – based on 1 cow = 1 animal unit, number of animal units for a Purpose = Stock
  • Anmunit - based on 1 cow = 1 animal unit, number of animal units for a Purpose = Stock
  • BADQQ – FTP data NRIS required field for new legal land descriptions
  • BADTRS – FTP data NRIS required field for new legal land descriptions
  • Cnty - county
  • COUNTY – FTP data
  • Countyid – the county id is the two-letter code for Montana's counties
  • Current Cap (acre ft) – capacity of the dam
  • Currentcap – capacity of the dam
  • Dam Height – the height of the dam face
  • Damheight – the height of the face of the dam for a reservoir
  • Div Count & map – the count of diversions for a given water right, and a link to a map of these diversions
  • Div ID – the number identifier of the diversion for a water right, and water rights can have many diversions. This is specific to the water right and not the diversion table, which has all diversions for the state
  • Divcount – number of diversions for a given water right version
  • Divid – the number assigned to a set of diversions unique to a water right. Usually 1…n
  • Divnumber – a unique number defined by the Oracle database for a diversion record
  • E_W – FTP data township direction for range
  • Enforceable Priority Date yyyymmdd or yyyymmddhhmm – for the period when water right claims were being submitted and were considered “Late Claims” the enforceable date became the last moment of the last date for water right claims. This date/time represents June 30, 1973 11:59pm or 197306302359
  • ENFPRIDATA – FTP enforceable priority date, see enforceable priority date
  • Enfprioritydate – for the period when water right claims were being submitted and were considered “Late Claims” the enforceable date became the last moment of the last date for water right claims. This date/time represents June 30, 1973 11:59pm or 197306302359
  • Enlargecap – the enlarged capacity of an originally smaller reservoir
  • Flow Rate Units – GPM gallons per minute OR CFS cubic feet per second
  • Flwrtunt – flow rate units are GPM gallons per minute, or CFS cubic feet per second
  • Govlot (Govtlot) – government lot, pertaining to areas along rivers that are government land to account for river meanders and ownership issues
  • Govt Lot – yet another way of describing a legal land description
  • GOVT_LOT – FTP data. Same as govlot and gov lot
  • Hist Type – prior to July 1, 1973, a naming system for types of water right
  • Histrgttype – how water rights were recorded in the pre 1973 document world to prove first in use, first in right.
  • Irr Count & map – the count of irrigation places of use for a given water right, and a link to a map of these irrigation places of use
  • Irr Type – type of irrigation for records with Purpose = Irrigation
  • Irrcount – number of irrigation places of use for a given water right version
  • Irrtype – the irrigation type for a purpose or use of irrigation. Please refer to Appendix A for a listing specific to this field
  • LATECLAIM – FTP the set of “B” water right claims that were filed at a late date with the Water Resources Division. Please, see the following publication or contact the WRD regional office near you: http://dnrc.mt.gov/wrd/WaterRights/WaterRightsInMontana.pdf
  • LLDSID – FTP data unique identifier for each legal land description. Includes all combination of quarters and halves for section descriptions. Use as relate key to other geospatial water right data: diversions, places of use, reservoirs.
  • Max Acres (Maxacres) – maximum acres a water right is applied onto over the period of a year
  • Max Flow Rate – the maximum rate of flow of which water is diverted or withdrawn from the source…GPM or CFS
  • Max Vol – the amount of water diverted over a specific period of time each year in acre feet. One acre foot is the volume of water that would cover 1 acre to a depth of 1 foot, and is equal to 43,560 cubic feet or 325,851 gallons
  • Maxacres – the maximum acres that water is applied to for a given water right
  • MAXDEPTH – FTP maximum depth of the reservoir
  • Maxflwrt – maximum rate of flow that water is diverted from a stream
  • Maxvol – the maximum volume of water that a water right user can divert in a year
  • Meanofdiv the means of diversion or how water is diverted from a stream source. Please refer to Appendix A for specific listing of means of diversion (eg. Headgate, pipeline, dam)
  • Means of Diversion – the means of diversion or how water is diverted from a stream source. Please refer to Appendix A for specific listing of means of diversion (eg. Headgate, pipeline, dam)
  • N_S – FTP data township direction for township
  • New Cap (acre ft) – updated capacity of the reservoir with improvements, same as enlarged capacity
  • OBJECTID – FTP a link field for NRIS to append new unique legal land descriptions into the existing set
  • Offstream – given as yes or no. if YES, a reservoir is built off a stream with water diverted to the reservoir. If NO, the the reservoir is built on the stream with the stream flowing through the reservoir and out the outlet or dam spillway
  • Owner – the name of an owner associated with the given water right, and there can be many owners per water right OR many water rights per owner. This field is in the place of use index as well, because many folks wish to look up a place of use’s owner at a glance. Makes for a longer index
  • Place of Use ID – the number of the place of use in a given water right, and there can be many places of use
  • PRIDATE – FTP priority date, see priority date
  • Priority Date yyyymmdd or yyyymmddhhmm – the claimed or permitted priority date for a given water right. All water rights post July 1, 1973 were given a time stamp for hours and minutes for when a water rights application was received.
  • Prioritydate – the claimed or permitted priority date for a given water right. All water rights post July 1, 1973 have a time stamp for hours and minutes for when a water right application was received.
  • Purpnumber – the unique number for a unique purpose for each water right. Eg.: if a water right has domestic and irrigation on the right and has 3 places of use that are domestic and 4 more places of use that are irrigation, there will be only 2 purpnumbers; one for domestic and one for irrigation. These numbers will be unique for the water right. This is used to link the period of use data to the water right purposes.
  • Purpose – the type of purpose or use for a particular place of use or for a given water right, and water rights can have more than one purpose or use
  • Qsection – quarter section is the quarterly divisor of a given section, and can be multiple divisions. Can also be listed as a half, such as E2 or S2 in this field
  • Qtr Section – divisions by fours for a given section in a water right description and usually given from no quarters to ¼ ¼ ¼ ¼ which is approximately 2.5 acres
  • RANGE – FTP data township information
  • Related Diversion – unique number of the diversion that fills the reservoir
  • Res – is the reservoir offstream? Y or N. if it is a N, that means the stream flows through the reservoir…like Yellowtail or Canyon Ferry or Fort Peck.
  • Res Count & map – the count of reservoirs for a given water right, and a link to a map of these reservoirs
  • Res ID – the unique number of the reservoir in the state wide water right database tables
  • Rescount – number of reservoirs for a given water right version
  • RESNAME – FTP name of the reservoir
  • Resnumber – a unique number defined by the Oracle database for a reservoir record
  • S160_40 – FTP data NRIS required field for new legal land descriptions
  • S320_160 – FTP data NRIS required field for new legal land descriptions
  • S40_2 – FTP data NRIS required field for new legal land descriptions
  • S80_10 – FTP data NRIS required field for new legal land descriptions
  • Secno – section number, usually 1…36
  • Section – generally 1x1 mile area of land or approximately 640 acres, and can have much smaller or larger areas
  • Source Name – the stream name or ground water resource that water is diverted from for a given water right
  • SRC – source type for the water right, ground water or surface water
  • Srcname – the source name is the name of the stream from where the water is diverted
  • Srctype – a general reference to the water as surface water or ground water
  • Surface Acres – surface acreage of the dam at ‘full pool’
  • Surfacearea – the surface area acres of a reservoir
  • TOWN – FTP data township information
  • TR – the feature’s township and range, generally 6x6 miles of land area, and can have half townships and half ranges ( belongs in indexes with locational information in them, such as diversions, place of use, reservoirs)
  • TRSSID – FTP unique township and section identifier (but not sub-sections)
  • Use Count & map – the count of places of use for a given water right, and a link to a map of these places of use
  • Usecount – number of places of use for a given water right version
  • Useid - the number assigned to a set of places of use unique to a water right. Usually 1…n
  • Verid – version id, which is the current operating authority version of the water right, the water right detail that is being incorporated ‘on the ground’
  • Version – the version of the water right number record
  • Water Right – the number of the water right record, which includes a basin definition, a number and a 2-digit extension
  • Well Dpth – total depth of drilled well
  • Welldepth – the drilled depth of a well
  • WR Type – a given water right can be a member of one group, and there are various groups
  • Wrid – unique number defined by Oracle database for relating all aspects of a given water right
  • WRKey – a hyphenated primary key to the water right record
  • Wrnumber – consists of the DNRC basin designation, a number from 1-3,000,000 and a two digit extension from historic changes to the water right
  • WRSTATUS – FTP the status for a given water right.
    • ACTV ACTIVE
    • CANC CANCELLED
    • DENY DENIED
    • DISS DISMISSED
    • EXPR EXPIRED
    • N/A NO STATUS ( may not be any of these)
    • PEND PENDING
    • RVKD REVOKED
    • TERM TERMINATED
    • WDRN WITHDRAWN
  • Wrtype – there are various types of water rights. See Appendix A for specific listings of all the different water right types (eg. Statement of Claim, Permit)
  • X – FTP the Montana State Plane, NAD 83 horizontal coordinate
  • Y – FTP the Montana State Plane, NAD 83 vertical coordinate

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