Bear River Development

In 1991, the Utah Legislature passed the Bear River Development Act, [Utah Code 73-26], which authorizes and directs the Division of Water Resources to “..develop the surface waters of the Bear River and its tributaries … through the planning and construction of reservoirs and associated facilities…”

Currently, the Division is completing a Feasibility Study for a conceptual Bear River Development (BRD) system.  The study is expected to be finalized by late summer/early fall of 2019.  The study includes conceptual level planning for a BRD system that would include reservoirs, pipelines, pump stations and other facilities. Multiple options of reservoirs and pipeline corridors have been studied and cost estimates have been updated.

As outlined in the Bear River Development Act, the BRD system, at full development, would deliver 220,000 acre-feet.  Four water districts will deliver the water in the following amounts:

• Bear River Water Conservancy District – 60,000 acre-feet

• Cache Water District – 60,000 acre-feet

• Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District 50,000 acre-feet

• Weber Basin Water Conservancy District – 50,000 acre-feet

The current projected need for the BRD water is in 2045-2050. Although the water is not needed for many years, the Division has begun corridor preservation for a large-diameter pipeline through Box Elder County.  As development has increased, the Division has seen the need to preserve a corridor to reduce future impacts to the surrounding communities.  The Division has a Memorandum of Agreement with the Utah Transit Authority and the two agencies are actively working on early acquisition of properties for a shared corridor.

Box Elder to Weber County Corridor Preservation

Additional Resources

Vol 1 – Draft Bear River Pipeline Concept Report (2014):  Study of potential alignments for the Bear River Pipeline. The study also includes a preliminary analysis of potential reservoir sites for the Bear River Development.

Vol 2 – Draft Bear River Pipeline Concept Report (2014):  Volume 2 contains the figures, drawings, tables and figures that accompany the study summarized in Volume 1 above.

Impacts of Water Development of Great Salt Lake & the Wasatch Front:  A white paper regarding the impacts of water development on the Great Salt Lake.