The Water Policy Interim Committee will host a committee conference call on Nov. 21 on the geocoding of water rights. The call will feature presentations by the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, the Department of Revenue, and the Montana Water Court and will take place at 10 a.m. in Room 172 of the Capitol in Helena.
The conference call follows recent testimony that the state’s water rights database may contain errors and that improvements are needed to the process of changing water rights ownership.
DNRC maintains a database of 366,000 water rights, and the owners of thousands of those rights change annually, usually through land sales. DNRC depends on records collected by title companies, county clerks and recorders, and the Department of Revenue to update these changes. A “geocode” indicating a water right’s place of use is used by DNRC and the Department of Revenue as a common tracking element. In September, some testified that these geocodes were causing inaccuracies and other headaches for water users and property owners.
Per committee rules, committee members will join the meeting by phone. Anyone interested in providing public comment on the subject may submit comments to committee staff or testify during the call in Room 172 on Nov. 21.
The meeting will be livestreamed at http://leg.mt.gov and will be broadcast on the Montana Public Affairs Network (MPAN). For more information on the committee’s activities and upcoming meeting, including a full agenda, please visit the committee’s website or contact Jason Mohr, committee staff.
Committee Website: leg.mt.gov/water
Committee Staff: firstname.lastname@example.org or 406-444-1640