Weber River to Flow as Early as 2021

Published 12/8/2020  |  American Whitewater

By: Kevin Colburn

The Federal government now has all the information it needs to issue a new 30 to 50 year license for the Weber River Hydroelectric Project. If they issue the license soon, recreational releases could begin in the early summer of 2021. Delays could push back releases to 2022, but either way, releases appear to be on the way.

American Whitewater has spent several years negotiating modest flow restoration for this dewatered Class III-IV reach of the Weber River. These negotiations culminated in a late 2018 settlement agreement calling for 4 releases of boatable flows each late spring or early summer, as well as modest access improvements. We expect these flows to have significant recreational and ecological value. Following significant additional negotiations, the agreement was successfully revised earlier this fall to address concerns voiced by the Forest Service. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) may now issue the new license.

It is difficult to predict or dictate when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will act on this project but we are hopeful it will be soon. What we can say is that we are confident the Power Company will strive to initiate releases as soon as possible following the issuance of the license, and we’ll work closely with them throughout this process. We are also confident that the new license will require the agreed-upon releases, because FERC has a policy of supporting settlement agreements. All the needed access and property rights are in place, so all we need is water! Stay tuned for news of yet another flow restoration win.

Special thanks to Charlie Vincent and the rest of the great team of volunteers we work with on this project.

This post first appeared on American Whitewater.

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