State says development planned for Bear River can be delayed

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah water officials are revising estimates for when the Bear River Development Project will be complete after determining the billion-dollar project no longer needs to be in place by 2040.

The Deseret News reported ( ) Monday that officials attributed the change in timing to technological advances, water conservation efforts and a state population that isn’t increasing as fast as initially projected.

The Bear River Development Act calls for the diversion of up to 220,000 acre-feet of water per year from the tri-state river for storage in constructed dams. That water would get piped to serve cities along the Wasatch Front, including the Salt Lake metropolitan area.

Officials say further analysis of conservation efforts will help provide a better understand of the project’s timing.

The Bear River runs through Utah, Idaho and Wyoming.

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