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Corra Linn Dam


Corra Linn Dam
Completed: 1932
Operator: West Kootenay Power and Light (FortisBC)
Type: water storage, concrete dam


Named after the one of the waterfalls located on the estate of Sir Charles Ross in Scotland, Corra Linn was the first dam to create water storage on the Kootenay River system. Constructed between 1930 and 1932, it was built with the goals of supplying Cominco with electricity for its new fertilizer plant in Trail and ensuring a constant water supply for the downstream West Kootenay Power dams that would occasionally go dry during the winter months. In order to accomplish this task, Kootenay Lake was to become a temporary reservoir to store the fall runoff behind Corra Linn. This task required the consent of the International Joint Commission (IJC), as water storage in Kootenay Lake would affect areas on both sides of the international border. The request for storage by Canada was continually denied and West Kootenay Power let the issue drop until the affected farmers in Idaho near the Canada- US border, were convinced of the importance of flood control after they suffered devastating floods in 1938. Permission was granted by the IJC in the fall of 1938 and Kootenay Lake became a reservoir. Although the Corra Linn was constructed already, it had not been storing water until permission was granted. With the raising of the water levels, the new Taghum bridge and the Canadian Pacific Railway track located upstream from the new dam needed to be raised 2 metres (7 feet).

Corra Linn consists of a 14-gate plant with three generators. At the southern end of the dam the inlet for the Kootenay Canal begins.

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Corra Linn Dam
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