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Local water conservation efforts are solid for April

Nevada Irrigation District (NID) customers are continuing their water conservation efforts; daily water use was down in April compared to April 2017, and there have been solid overall savings since the drought years.

Overall, NID’s treated water customers consumed 35.3 percent less water in April than in 2013, the benchmark year used before the drought, according to data released to the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board).

The monthly daily water use was lowest since data began being submitted to the State Water Board starting during the drought. In terms of daily water use, customers averaged 77 residential gallons per capita day (R-GPCD). Statewide, the average was 81 R-GPCD in April.

Estimated R-GPCD for NID treated water customers during the month of April (2013 – 2018):

April 2013 – 130

April 2015 – 87

April 2016 – 87

April 2017 – 79

April 2018 – 77

“We applaud NID customers who have voluntarily incorporated water conservation into their lifestyles,” said Chip Close, NID operations manager. “Being good stewards of this finite resource is a step forward to be responsive to climate change and future drought.”

NID customers used of 77 R-GPCD during April. By comparison, a sampling of neighboring district R-GPCDs is as follows:

  • El Dorado Irrigation District – 111
  • Sacramento Suburban Water District – 84
  • City of Roseville – 63
  • City of Lincoln – 85

Since 2015, NID has joined other urban water agencies in California in submitting monthly data to the State Water Board, which uses the data for its statewide conservation updates. Read the April report here.

NID encourages water conservation efforts. Find water efficiency tips at the District’s conservation webpage here.

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The 3rd Annual Mulch Magic Giveaway is a success!

Residents with trucks lined up before 7 am to load free shred2018-mulch-041ded redwood mulch during NID’s annual Mulch Magic Giveaway on June 2. By 12:30 pm, all of the piles of mulch – a total of 150 cubic yards – were gone!

In its third year, this year the giveaway had a new format – people collected the mulch on a first-come first-served basis at the Nevada County Fairgrounds instead of a voucher system to be redeemed at local suppliers.

The Mulch Magic Giveaway is part of NID’s continuing efforts to promote conscientious water use and conservation. Mulch is a great tool to help save water in gardening and landscaping. Two or three inches of mulch helps retain water keeping the soil moist for longer periods of time.

The popular event is sponsored by NID, the Nevada County Resource Conservation District (NCRCD) and the Nevada County Fairgrounds.

 

NID hosts students to experience a watershed first-hand

The Deer Creek watershed recently served as a lovely backdrop for local school kids to learn about nature and gain hands-on experience caring for the environment.

Coordinating with South Yuba River Citizens’ League’s Restoration Coordinator Karli Foreman, Nevada Irrigation District (NID) hosted a group of students from Yuba River Charter School, who arrived at Scotts Flat Reservoir in late May to spend two days camping and enjoying an end-of-the-school-year adventure. The students, eager to explore a part of the watershed, were greeted by Neysa King, NID’s watershed resources planner, and Foreman to discuss watershed health.

King discussed how watersheds function and the interconnection between headwater creeks and rivers. She explained how the Deer Creek watershed flows into the South Fork of the Yuba River, which flows into the Sacramento River, continues to the Delta and finally the Pacific Ocean.

“This is such a marvelous opportunity for students to not only experience first-hand the beauty of the natural area but also the vital function of watersheds, and where their local water supply comes from,” King said.

Students listened to information about the headwater watersheds, and then delved into a special topic: the importance of managing invasive species. After a field discussion, Foreman guided the students as they donned gloves and protective clothing, picked up “weed wrenches” and hand tools, and set out to remove Scotch Broom from the site. Broom, broughscotch_broomt to North America by Europeans in the 1800s, can spread as an invasive non-native species. It forms dense stands that can crowd out native species and degrade important habitats.

“Broom also is targeted for fire fuels reduction as it burns rapidly and can quickly become a ladder fuel that allows a ground fire to leap into the canopy,” King said.

The students enjoyed the two nights at Scotts Flat Reservoir as part of NID’s standing invitation to local school groups to come and spend time at District facilities to learn about our local water supply and the importance of being good stewards of the watershed.

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NID responds to Squirrel Creek truck crash to protect community water source

squirrel-creek-spill-5-30-18Nevada Irrigation District (NID) crews responded to a hazardous materials spill after a truck owned by a private party crashed into Squirrel Creek on Wednesday, May 30. In addition to providing emergency spill equipment, District crews followed up with cleanup and disposal efforts.

The mid-day accident occurred when a dump truck reportedly lost its brakes on Highway 20 in Penn Valley and crashed into Squirrel Creek.

An NID employee driving by the scene saw emergency response vehicles and began spill response protocol. Although the portion of the creek where the truck accident occurred was not an NID facility, water flowing through Squirrel Creek eventually comingles with part of the District’s water delivery system. Water from Squirrel Creek feeds the Meade Canal, which flows to the Smartsville area.

NID water quality experts immediately responded to address the potential for water contamination, while NID maintenance crews provided containment wattles and floating absorbent pads at multiple locations downstream of the wreck.

The absorbent pads slowed and contained the spill. As an additional precaution, NID temporarily shut down the Smartsville Water Treatment Plant and continued to test for contaminants in the system.

img_8093In total, 10 -15 pads with absorbed oil were bagged and hauled off by NID crews. In addition, the District removed oil-soaked vegetation from the immediate area to a proper disposal location. NID’s efforts were voluntary as a public service to the community.

“As good stewards of our watershed and the community’s water supply, NID is dedicated to protecting our conveyance systems from hazardous materials,” said Greg Jones, NID assistant general manager.

“At this point there is no indication that any spill is making its way down Squirrel Creek. We will continue to monitor water quality in the area. Our commitment is to our water source and protection of the watershed,” he added.

Agencies that responded included NID, California Highway Patrol and Nevada County.

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Board of Directors May 23 meeting wrap:

News Release                                                                                                                                                                                      

Grass Valley, CA – The Nevada Irrigation District (NID) Board of Directors adopted an addendum to the Combie Reservoir Sediment and Mercury Removal Project, and encumbered funds for the Iron Horse/Brewer Road Waterline Extension project during its May 23 meeting.

Present were President William Morebeck, Vice President John H. Drew, and Directors Nancy Weber, Nick Wilcox and Scott Miller.

The Board voted unanimously to adopt an addendum to the Combie Reservoir Sediment and Mercury Removal Project that includes a modification to allow a dry removal process to supplement the wet removal process during the low water season. This will better allow NID to achieve the planned removal objectives of 150,000 to 200,000 tons. Read more here.

In other NID matters, the Board unanimously agreed to encumber funds for the Iron Horse/Brewer Road District Financed Waterline Extension project. Read more about the project here.

The General Manager reported District water storage is 265,961 acre-feet, which is 127 percent of average for the year and 98 percent maximum reservoir capacity. Snowpack is 40 percent of average.

The next regular meeting of the NID Board of Directors, will be held at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 at the NID Business Center located at 1036 West Main Street, Grass Valley. NID Board meetings are open to the public.

 

 

Contact: Susan Lauer

(530) 271-6735 ext. 335

lauers@nidwater.com

 

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Sunshine greets NID’s 11th annual ‘No Motor Day’ at Scotts Flat

kayakers2_web lake3boats_web nidtruck2_web paddleboard-boy3_web solokayaker2_webSaturday’s 11th annual “No Motor Day” at Scotts Flat Reservoir featured a bright, sunny day and a full lake for sailboats, canoes, kayaks and paddleboards. Use of motorized boats was suspended for the day.

Throughout the day on May 19, free kayak and paddleboard demos were offered by Mountain Recreation of Grass Valley. The Gold Country Yacht Club offered free sailboat rides. Plus, Boy Scout Troop No. 4 held a barbecue lunch fundraiser.

 

May 19 workshop offers a first-hand look at irrigated pasture management

easel_webSome two dozen people attended a workshop on how to maintain a pasture and improve water management and system efficiency at the Robinson Ranch in Penn Valley on May 19.

Nevada Irrigation District (NID), Nevada County Resource Conservation District and University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources sponsored the event.

Dan Macon, University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) livestock and natural resources advisor, was the presenter. He covered a range of topics, including how to determine soil moisture by feel, types of foliage in pastures and different irrigation methods.

Participants also heard from the Penn Valley host who shared personal experiences and what works best for her family’s ranch.

pasture-irrigation2_webKaycee Strong, NID’s water efficiency technician, said the workshop had a “great turnout of customers ranging from people that are just starting out irrigating pastures to some who have had pastures for years.”

NID irrigates more than 31,000 acres. Water is collected from a high mountain watershed, stored for a period of time in the District’s reservoirs and then released into a canal system that meanders through Nevada, Placer and Yuba counties. Ranchers purchase NID water through service outlets along the canals to irrigate their pastures. Read more here.

 

 

 

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NID Hosts ‘No Motor Day’ May 20 at Scotts Flat Reservoir

The quiet, natural beauty of Scotts Flat Reservoir will be showcased on Sunday, May 20, as the Nevada Irrigation District (NID) hosts its 11th annual “No Motor Day.”

NID Recreation Manager Monica Reyes said the District has organized the event in response to community requests and as part of an overall effort to operate in a green, environmentally friendly manner.

Non-motorized watercraft, including sailboats, canoes, kayaks and paddleboards, will be allowed entry to the Scotts Flat Recreation Area without charge for the day. Use of motorized boats will be suspended for the entire day.

Regular admission rates of $11 per vehicle (with up to four persons) will remain in effect.

Special activities will be offered without charge. Free kayak and paddleboard demos will be offered from 10 am to 4 pm by Mountain Recreation of Grass Valley. The Gold Country Yacht Club will host an open house and offer free sailboat rides, also from 10 am to 4 pm.

There also will be a barbecue lunch prepared as a fundraiser by local Boy Scout Troop No. 4. The BBQ is planned from 11:30 am to 4 pm in the marina area.

Scotts Flat is one of 10 reservoirs owned and operated by NID. The District offers wide-ranging public recreational opportunities at both Scotts Flat and Rollins reservoirs in the Sierra foothills. Camping and backcountry recreation are available at the District’s mountain reservoirs, such as Bowman, Jackson Meadows and Faucherie.

More information is available at www.nidwater.com

Register today for a free irrigated pasture management workshop on May 19

How to maintain a pasture and improve water management and system efficiency will be the topic of a free workshop on May 19. The workshop will be held at a private ranch in Penn Valley and feature indoor and outdoor presentations.

Nevada Irrigation District (NID), Nevada County Resource Conservation District and University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources are sponsors of the event.

The primary presenter will be Dan Macon, University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) livestock and natural resources advisor. Read more about him here.

Workshop topics will include:

  • Understanding the physical and biological characteristics of soil
  • Estimating soil moisture
  • Types of sprinkler and flood pasture irrigation
  • Irrigation management and scheduling to improve efficiency
  • Fertilization strategies
  • Irrigated pasture forages commonly planted
  • Grazing management practices for irrigated pastures

The irrigated pasture management workshop will be held from 8-11:30 am on Saturday, May 19. Participants are asked to bring a chair, walking shoes and sunscreen. Light refreshments will be provided.

The workshop is free, but participants must pre-register. For more information or to register, contact Kaycee Strong at NID 530-273-6185 ext. 244 or strongk@nidwater.com

Since 1921, NID has provided agricultural water to support area farms and ranches. Today, the District irrigates more than 31,000 acres in Nevada, Placer and Yuba counties. The water is collected from a high mountain watershed, stored for a period of time in the District’s reservoirs and then released into a canal system that meanders through the counties. Ranchers purchase NID water through service outlets along the canals to irrigate their pastures. Read more here.

 

 

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NID recreational facilities opening for camping and outdoor activities

Spring is in the air, and that means outdoor fun is just beginning. Nevada Irrigation District (NID) is ready to welcome guests with improvements to its many campgrounds.

Importantly, NID has completed pre-season hazard tree removal and fire fuels reduction work at Scotts Flat, Orchard Springs and Long Ravine campgrounds in focused efforts to protect infrastructure and help safeguard nearby residential communities from wildfire.

In addition to general tidying up in preparation of the summer recreation season, other campground improvements include:

  • Scotts Flat: new picnic tables for all campsites
  • Orchard Springs: a new camp store is under construction and scheduled to open this summer
  • Long Ravine: new bathroom lighting has been installed

Also, new boat slips are ready for use at Long Ravine, Orchard Springs and Peninsula. Plus, there’s a new slide at Long Ravine.

NID provides outstanding outdoor recreational opportunities at district reservoirs in the foothills and mountains of the Northern Sierra. In the foothills, Rollins and Scotts Flat reservoirs are big draws, with a litany of activities including camping, fishing, swimming, sunning, boating, water skiing, sailing, kayaking and more.

Higher in the mountains, NID maintains and operates campgrounds and recreational facilities in the Jackson Meadows-Bowman Lake areas. Jackson Meadows features several campgrounds, picnic day use sites and boat ramps. Other campgrounds are located at Bowman, Canyon Creek, Sawmill and Faucherie lakes in the Bowman corridor. The primary recreation season in the high mountain areas generally runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day, depending on weather.

Make your camping reservations online for Scotts Flat, Orchard Springs, Peninsula and Long Ravine campground. Click here for reservations.

In other NID recreation news:

Save the date: “No Motor Day” on Scotts Flat is May 20.

Experience the quiet beauty of Scotts Flat Lake. Free admission for non-motorized watercraft, kayaking and paddleboard demos, free sailboat rides and a fundraiser luncheon with Boy Scout Troop No. 4. More information here.

The 5th Annual Kid’s Triathlon at Orchard Springs has been rescheduled from May 19 to Sept. 15 to accommodate for cold reservoir water.

Fish plants: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife planted trout at Scotts Flat Reservoir on Feb 25 and March 18 and at Rollins Reservoir on March 18 and April 15.

 

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English Meadow restoration benefits environment and NID water supply

When NID customers turn on taps in their homes, the flowing water comes from 70,000 acres of high mountain watersheds on the upper reaches of the Middle Yuba River, South Yuba River, Bear River, Deer Creek and many tributaries.

These mountain watersheds capture rainfall and snowmelt, then naturally cleanse the water that flows downhill to be used as supply for households, farms and industry within NID’s 285,000-acre service territory.

The importance of a healthy watershed – the source of NID’s water — cannot be overstated. There is a direct link between the quality of water supply and condition of the source watersheds. The District is committed to its share of creating and maintaining its healthy watersheds.

One important example of NID’s commitment to the upper watersheds is the multi-year restoration work being done in English Meadow (elevation 6,152 feet). The meadow is northeast of English Mountain, southeast of Findley Peak and west of Jones Valley. The Middle Yuba River flows through this beautiful high elevation meadow on its way into Jackson Meadows Reservoir.

In general, a meadow absorbs precipitation – rain and snowmelt – into the soil, stores it through the summer and naturally releases water later in the year. Specifically, English Meadow releases water into the Middle Yuba and Jackson Meadows Reservoir, and ultimately the flows reach NID’s western-most customers in Lincoln at an elevation 150 feet above sea level.

NID’s multi-year restoration project seeks to improve meadow function and habitat. A chief goal is to reconnect the meadow to the Middle Yuba. English Meadow has been altered after decades of natural degradation and human uses, and a disconnect has occurred. When the natural connection between the river and meadow is re-established, increased functionality will be restored. More water will accumulate as the spongy ground absorbs snowmelt runoff and percolates it through the soil. The water will remain in the meadow longer into the year, instead of pulsing out in a rush when the snow melts.

This restoration project will have many benefits, including increased groundwater and the sediment reduction into Jackson Meadows Reservoir, saving water storage capacity. The project also will reduce the potential for catastrophic fire risk to forested lands through understory thinning and selective tree removal.

In 2017, the District collaborated with the U.S. Forest Service, California State University, Sacramento and Plumas Corporation to create baseline data and a map.

In March 2018, the Sierra Nevada Conservancy awarded the District a $65,000 grant for environmental, cultural and forestry work to develop a Timber Harvest Plan for 550 acres in the Upper Middle Yuba River watershed around English Meadow.
english-meadow-map

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Board of Directors 4.25 meeting wrap: approval of Raw Water Master Plan and DWR agreement advances mercury removal project

Grass Valley, CA – The Nevada Irrigation District (NID) Board of Directors voted to approve an update to the Raw Water Master Plan (RWMP) and to authorize an agreement with the Department of Water Resources (DWR) to proceed with the Combie Sediment and Mercury Removal Project during its April 25 meeting.

Present were President William Morebeck, Vice President John H. Drew, and Directors Nancy Weber, Nick Wilcox and Scott Miller.

The Board voted unanimously to approve $500,000 to update the RWMP, which charts NID’s course for the next 50 years. The process will include public participation to evaluate impacts and alternatives and develop community solutions for short-term and long-term needs. Read more here.

In other NID matters, the Board unanimously agreed to a $5.5 million agreement with DWR for the Combie Sediment and Mercury Removal Project. Read more about the project here.

The General Manager reported District water storage is 255,660 acre-feet, which is 95 percent of maximum capacity. As of April 18, Bowman Lake had received 66 inches of precipitation for the season, which is 106 percent of average. Snowpack is well below average for the year.

The next regular meeting of the NID Board of Directors, will be held at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 (the May 9 meeting has been cancelled) at the NID Business Center located at 1036 West Main Street, Grass Valley. NID Board meetings are open to the public.

 

 

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NID scores high in water quality tests; annual report released

GRASS VALLEY – Drinking water supplied to Nevada Irrigation District (NID) customers meets and exceeds state and federal public health standards, based on testing results that serve as the basis for the District’s just-released annual water quality report.

The report, also known as the Consumer Confidence Report, summarizes NID’s water quality monitoring and testing programs for the 2017 calendar year. The information focuses on water supplied through the Elizabeth L. George, Loma Rica, Lake Wildwood, Lake of The Pines, North Auburn and Cascade Shores water treatment plants.

NID treated and distributed more than 2.9 billion gallons of surface water in 2017. This water originated in the Sierra Nevada snowpack on five mountain watersheds, including the Middle and South Yuba rivers, the Bear River, north fork of the North Fork American River and Deer Creek.

Effective operation and maintenance of the drinking water distribution system assures high-quality drinking water travels through the system to customers. The District also conducts weekly water quality testing in its system to ensure that drinking water continues to meet state and federal requirements.

“We absolutely are committed to delivering the best-quality drinking water at the lowest cost possible,” said Chip Close, NID’s water operations manager. “It is with great pride we release the latest Consumer Confidence Report that confirms we are meeting our goals.”

The report covers a variety of substances, including microbial contaminants (such as viruses and bacteria), inorganic contaminants (such as salts and metals), pesticides and herbicides, organic chemical contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, that are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production and radioactive contaminants.

Both federal and state governments have established strict regulations to limit the amount of specific contaminants in drinking water to provide public health protections.

The direct link to the report is  http://nidwater.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/NID-WQR-2017.pdf.

 

 

 

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No Motor Day at Scotts Flat on May 20

Come experience the quiet beauty of Scotts Flat Lake during ‘no motor day’ on Sunday, May 20, 2018.

The day features:

  • Free kayaking and paddleboard demos with Mountain Recreation of Grass Valley (10 am – 4 pm).
  • Open house and free sailboat rides with Gold Country Yacht Club (10 am – 4 pm)
  •  Fundraiser luncheon with Boy Scout Troop No. 4 (11:30 am – 4 pm)

Free Admission for non-motorized watercraft. Vehicle admission is $11.00 (includes up to four people)

Irrigation water season gets underway

The Nevada Irrigation District (NID) began seasonal irrigation water deliveries on Sunday, April 15.

“Unseasonably wet storms have led to a slow and fluctuating start to the season, but the District remains hard at work attempting to deliver adequate water while managing canal flows for storm runoff events,” said Chip Close, NID’s water operations manager.

NID serves about 5,400 customers who irrigate more than 31,000 acres with untreated “raw” water in Placer and Nevada counties. At its April 11 Board meeting, the District announced its customers will receive full deliveries this season, with reservoir storage at 248,675 acre-feet – or 137 percent of average – as of March 31.

NID’s Irrigation water is collected from 70,000 acres of Sierra Nevada watershed, stored for a period of time in NID’s reservoirs and then released into the District’s 420-mile long canal system. Raw water customers, including farmers and ranchers, connect into the canal systems to irrigate their pastures, orchards and farms.

Raw water is used throughout NID’s 287,000-acre boundary for agriculture irrigation on pasture for cattle, sheep and horses, on farms for grapes, apples, peaches, nuts, berries, corn, rice, wheat and oats, and for commercial irrigation for golf courses, gardens, nurseries, orchards and vineyards.

NID’s raw water deliveries fill ponds and reservoirs for stock watering, fire suppression and recreation throughout the District. Availability of irrigation water is an important factor in the preservation of open space, industry and local culture.

NID was formed by public vote in 1921 specifically to provide water for irrigation purposes. Today, NID supplies water annually for irrigation, municipal, domestic and industrial purposes to Nevada and Placer Counties. Learn more at www.nidwater.com

 

 

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