CSKT Water Rights Compact Moves to Legislature

Compact committee unanimously approves document, sends to lawmakers

By Molly Priddy

HELENA — After a decade of negotiations, a proposed water rights compact for the Salish and Kootenai Tribes is before the state Legislature.

The Independent Record reports the Montana Reserved Water Rights Commission voted unanimously Monday to move the compact on to lawmakers for approval.

The compact quantifies and clarifies how much water the northwest Montana tribes get for fisheries and other uses, and how much farmers and ranchers get for irrigation. It also requires the state to spend $55 million to improve the Flathead Indian Irrigation Project.