Raw Water Master Plan Phase II Program Environmental Impact Report
The Nevada Irrigation District (NID) is the lead agency for preparing a Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) to assess the environmental effects associated with implementation of the Capital Improvement Program (CIP), which is referred to in the NID Board-approved Raw Water Master Plan Phase II (RWMP). The CIP includes those capital improvements to NID’s raw water conveyance system to meet the goal of providing future demand to the year 2032, as determined in the RWMP Phase II. The RWMP reviewed flow requirements and demand on the extensive raw water system and identified necessary improvements to meet the current and projected demands through 2032.
NID collects raw water on over 70,000 acres of high water mountain watershed and owns and operates an extensive reservoir and canal system and network of water treatment plants. NID is split into two major distribution and storage systems: Deer Creek and Bear River. These systems include canals, siphons, pipelines, and other water conveyance structures, as well as reservoirs and water treatment plants. NID’s existing raw water delivery system would require extensive modifications to meet the projected increase in demand to the year 2032. The existing infrastructure in many locations is undersized to handle the projected capacity increases. NID uses an open ditch system as the primary means of water delivery to the individual water users; the conveyance system also includes numerous structures such as siphons, flumes, and pipes, many of which have been in operation for over 100 years. The open ditch system is especially prone to seepage loss, damage from forest fires, storm events (and associated sedimentation and debris), and issues with water quality (resulting from storm water runoff and other means of contamination). The CIP will assist NID in developing plans, budgets, and implementation of these improvements and address the problem areas in a timely manner, incorporate changes in customer water use patterns, and be able to provide service to new development concurrent with existing water users.
Many CIP projects will replace existing elements of the District’s raw water infrastructure with components sized to meet future demands. CIP projects include improvements to expand future capacity or improve water quality, rather than maintain or restore existing capacity. The PEIR will identify such projects in accordance with CEQA guidelines. Maintenance and/or replacement projects that have the same purpose and capacity as existing structures will not be discussed in detail in the PEIR.