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Idaho Water Dept. turns down Bear River dam permit

The Idaho Department of Water Resources has rejected a proposal to build a dam on the Bear River in southeastern Idaho’s Franklin County.

The Twin Lakes Canal Company applied with the agency in 2007 to build a 108-foot-high dam in the Oneida Narrows near Preston.

The canal company wanted the dam because it typically doesn’t have enough water to irrigate all the land it covers. Department officials agreed the public has an interest in augmenting the water supply to farmers, but said the benefits of building the dam don’t outweigh the benefits of keeping the river and fishery as is.

The Bear River drains roughly 6,900 square miles in southwestern Wyoming, northern Utah and southeastern Idaho, carrying about a million acre-feet of water a year into the Great Salt Lake.

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