St. Mary’s Diversion Dam Failure


The most powerful way to explain the importance and complexity of the St. Mary’s diversion system, which can provide up to 90% of the flow for the Milk River, is educating and a call to action through short film. By showing the location, extent of the project, beneficiaries, and consequences of failing to act, we can instill a sense of urgency to rally support to move the project forward so the Milk River can continue to provide for our communities. The MRWA is sharing the video at stakeholder meetings, lobbying efforts for congress and legislature, and local viewing events within the watershed.

The rehabilitation cost is estimated at $200 million. Currently, 75% of the rehabilitation cost will fall upon irrigators in the watershed; an unrealistic operations and maintenance cost that will be detrimental to our communities along the Hi-Line.
Beneficiaries of the Milk River include municipalities such as Havre, Chinook, and Harlem, irrigators, recreationists, sportsmen, First Nation’s with Federal Reserved Water Rights, and wildlife and wildlife interests.


The educational video project was made possible with the generous support of:

  • Hill, Valley, and Phillips County Commissioners
  • Montana Catfish Association
  • Two Rivers Economic Growth
  • Milk River Watershed Council Canada
  • Phillco Economic Growth Council
  • Montana DNRC

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