Case Summary Citation
The Clark Fork Coalition v. Tubbs, 384 Mont. 503, 380 P.3d 771 (Mont. 2016)
Before landowners may appropriate groundwater in Montana, they must first apply for a DNRC permit pursuant to the Montana Water Use Act. Landowners may qualify for an exemption from the arduous permitting process if their appropriation meets certain criteria. However, the Act provides an exception to the exemption when a “combined appropriation” from the same source is in excess of ten acre-feet per year. The Clark Fork Coalition v. Tubbs affirmed the district court’s invalidation of the DNRC rule defining “combined appropriation” to only include physically connected groundwater wells.