(Sheridan, Wyo.) — In a move much like it made last year
the State of Montana made a call under the Yellowstone River Compact to
fill Tongue River Reservoir on April 19.
The call on water rights lasted only until Monday, May 2, when Montana
cancelled its call.
The call applied to Wyoming water rights with a priority date later than
Jan. 1, 1950, according to the Wyoming State Engineers Office.
Since Montana made its call, the Wyoming State Engineer’s Office has
communicated with Tongue River Basin water users, monitored water use in
Wyoming, and curtailed water use by post-1950 water rights.
Now that the call has been cancelled, any water user in Wyoming’s Tongue
River Basin may use water in accordance with the user’s water right until
or unless otherwise regulated or notified by a Wyoming Water
State Engineer Pat Tyrrell said that unlike last year when Montana
cancelled the call after Tongue River Reservoir filled, Montana officials
this year determined, under current snowpack and runoff conditions, that
the reservoir will fill without continuing the call for regulation.
“In that regard, I very much appreciate Montana’s proactive decision and
their informing us so that Wyoming appropriators with post-compact rights
wouldn’t be further curtailed under an interstate regulatory event," Tyrell
said. "We are glad it appears Tongue River Reservoir will fill, which is
beneficial to water users in both states.”
See past coverage on the 2015 call on Dally here
and Wyoming and Montana's ongoing battle over water at the border here
*Feature photo: Users at the Tongue River Reservoir in April. / Pitchengine