Avoiding Controversy and Seeking Equity: Amending the Yellowstone River Compact in Furtherance of Its Dual Purposes
The Yellowstone River Compact governing the interstate waters of the Yellowstone River and its tributaries was ratified in 1951 by Montana, Wyoming, and North Dakota. The Compact’s dual purposes are to achieve “equitable apportionment” of these waters and to “avoid present and future controversy.” However, the Compact's Article V apportionment scheme inequitably distributes risk between water users and excludes settled tribal water rights, undermining these dual purposes, a problem compounded by recent drought. Unfortunately, climate change projections throughout the Yellowstone River Basin ...
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