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Rocky Mountain Power says new concept could increase water storage

Rocky Mountain Power claims a new approach to managing its Bear River hydroelectric facilities could make significant amounts of water available to the state of Utah without building new dams and reservoirs. “Our hydrologists and plant managers have given a lot of thought to this approach,” said Jack Kolkman, director of hydroelectric operations. “But it is still conceptual at this point. The company is seeking to gauge interest and prompt ideas and input from all the stakeholders who have an interest in the Bear River/Bear Lake system.” Rocky Mountain Power currently manages five Bear River hydroelectric projects and Bear Lake. Combined with conservation efforts, the utility believes it could supply the planned annual water demand anticipated by Utah and Idaho for new municipal us. The changes could include concepts to increase water storage in Bear Lake and at the utility’s Cutler hydroelectric project. The concept would also entail substantial conservation measures for agricultural irrigation users. Rocky Mountain Power estimates an additional 140,000 acre-feet of water could be stored in Bear Lake beginning this July.

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