New Policy on Beaver Dam Analogue Construction

The State Engineer has issued a new policy regarding the construction of beaver dam analogues (BDAs), which are small, man-made impoundments of water on natural streams. Proponents assert that BDAs enhance stream channels and streamflows, diminish erosion, increase the health of riparian zones, prevent fire damage during wildfires, and help restore damaged streams in wildfire burn areas. Opponents assert that BDAs impound water belonging to downstream water users, increase evaporation and evapotranspiration of the water, and diminish the water flowing downstream to satisfy water right holders.Based on these considerations and concerns, the State Engineer issued a policy of December 28, 2018, with respect to BDA construction. The following are some of the key points in the new policy:Any BDA construction will require that a Stream Alteration Permit is filed and approved by the Division of Water Rights.During the Permit review process, the regional engineer will make a…

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