The Water Policy Interim Committee meets Sept. 10-11 to launch three studies and tour three natural water storage sites.
The committee will convene at 10 a.m. Sept. 10 at the Beaverhead County Courthouse, 2 S. Pacific St. Discussion there will center on three studies:
- Study of the future of the Water Court (House Joint Resolution 14)
- Study of weather modification (HJ 40)
- Study of climate and water rights.
As part of the HJ 14 study, the committee will hear presentations and discuss the 1988 Ross Report on water rights adjudication and a 2014 University of Montana law school report on the state's legal system for water rights. The HJ 40 study includes a presentation on "cloud seeding" technology from Idaho Power and an overview of existing state laws related to weather modification. The study of climate and water rights will begin with a discussion of the 2017 Montana Climate Assessment conducted by the Montana Institute on Ecosystems.
The committee concludes its meeting with a field trip near Butte. Committee members will join a tour of three natural water storage sites in the Big Hole River watershed. The tour is being conducted by the Montana Watershed Coordinating Council, as part of their Missouri Headwaters watershed tour. The tour includes stops at projects near California Creek, French Creek, and Mt. Haggin.
The WPIC is led by Rep. Zach Brown, D-Bozeman, chairman, and Sen. Jeffrey Welborn, R-Dillon, vice-chairman. Other members of the committee are Sen. Jill Cohenour (D-E. Helena), Sen. Bruce “Butch” Gillespie (R-Ethridge), Sen. Jon Sesso (D-Butte), Rep. Bob Brown (R-Thompson Falls), Rep. Carl Glimm (R-Kila), Rep. Bradley Maxon Hamlett (D-Cascade), Rep. Shane Morigeau (D-Missoula), and Rep. Walt Sales (R-Manhattan).
The meeting will not be live-streamed nor broadcast on the Montana Public Affairs Network (MPAN). An audio recording of the committee meeting, excluding the tour, will be available http://leg.mt.gov after the meeting. 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