Evolving Water Law and Management in the U.S.: Montana

Publication Date

Fall 2016

Document Type



The availability of water or the lack thereof has influenced the evolution of each state and the laws of each state. The development of water law naturally grew from the realities of water and other resources in different areas of the country and the need for water for industry, agriculture, and other enterprises. The evolution and development of water management in Montana provide a good example of water management in the western United States. From the beginnings of Montana and of the West as a region, water sat at the top of the list of essentials for human occupancy and use of the area. Indeed, water is arguably the defining characteristic of the West.

Publication Title

University of Denver Water Law Review