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 2020 Year in Review

When you turn on the tap, shower, soak your garden or flush the toilet, the water you need is there. It’s reliable and affordable because of the nearly 100 years of hard work by men and women of NID who’ve built and maintained our robust and sustainable water system.

We are dedicated to delivering water for life – water that supports the lifestyle, values and safety of our community. Our forward-thinking approach to watershed management and conservation helps sustain a healthy environment. When wildfire strikes, NID reservoirs and infrastructure are prepped to assist firefighting efforts.


Long Ravine Campground receives major upgrades

 Long Ravine Campground on Rollins Reservoir received a new drinking water system to replace its 55-year old system. NID crews installed 1.41 miles of new pipe, two new storage tanks and filter.

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New water tanks placed at Long Ravine campground.

In addition, during the water system work crews also improved the RV sites, leveling out sites, re-rocking pads and upgrading the electrical connections to the sites.

Rollins Reservoir, located at the 2100-foot elevation off Highway 174 between Grass Valley and Colfax, has four independently operated campgrounds. Long Ravine, Greenhorn, Orchard Springs and Peninsula offer a combined 250 campsites and a range of services including stores, restaurants, fuel sales and rentals.

Read more about NID recreation here.



Table Meadow Road waterline extension progresses

Property owners within the Table Meadow Road area received the news they would get a waterline extension to bring NID water to their neighborhood.

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A crew installs new pipeline for the Table Meadow Road neighborhood.

The project included 5,770 lf of 8-inch pipe, potentially serving 42 parcels.  The project is part of the District’s effort to support the extension of waterlines into established areas with water quality and/or supply issues.

NID provides support to these neighborhoods by fronting the costs of the pipeline design and installation while allowing the participating property owners to finance their portion and pay it back over 30 years at a low-interest rate.  Learn more about NID’s Community Investment Program here.



The first phase of the crucial Combie Canal replacement is finished

Water first flowed through the massive new water pipeline on Tuesday, March 2. This vital infrastructure will transport more than half of the District’s water deliveries from below the Combie Reservoir to 3,693 customers in southern Nevada and western Placer counties.

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The first flow of water enters the pipeline.

The system also serves two treatment plants that provide water to 5,022 homes in Lake of the Pines and North Auburn communities. This system also serves as a secondary conduit for deliveries made through the Bear River Canal, including to 3,427 Placer County Water Agency customers in Lincoln.

NID is replacing the 50-year old Combie Canal, a flume along steep terrain above the Bear River, with 96-inch reinforced concrete pressure pipe. The total cost for the project is approximately $19.6 million. The first phase replaces about 4,450 feet, about 0.84 miles, of canal.

Watch the first flow of water enter the large pipe here.



Irrigation season gets underway 

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Like it has for generations, NID begins seasonal irrigation water deliveries to customers throughout Nevada and Placer counties in April.

The District’s 500 miles of canal deliver irrigation water to about 5,600 customers who irrigate more than 30,000 acres of farms and fields. Most purchase their water on a seasonal basis during the irrigation season, which runs from mid-April through mid-October. In addition, NID’s deliveries fill ponds and reservoirs for stock watering, fire suppression and recreation.

NID’s irrigation water customers connect into the canal systems to irrigate pastures for cattle, sheep and horses, as well as on farms to grow crops, ranging from grapes, apples and citrus to berries and corn. In addition, and importantly, NID’s raw water deliveries fill ponds and reservoirs for stock watering, fire suppression and recreation throughout the District.  Learn more at


NID awards scholarships to graduating students

In keeping with its commitment to the community and support of our youth, NID awarded two scholarships to Nevada Union High School graduating seniors Coal Barker and Logan Vanderhoof for paid internships with the District.

These internship scholarships include a six-month temporary assignment at the District, are valued at up to $15,000 each, in addition to the opportunity to study and take the California Water Distribution or Operator Certification exam.

Coal Barker
Logan Vanderhoof





NID goes green – power purchases are 95% renewable 

The District announced it will begin using 95 percent clean, renewable energy to power all its operations. To accomplish this, NID has changed where it gets its power, switching from PG&E (which provides only about 33% renewable) to the clean, renewable hydropower the District generates at its Scotts Flat Powerhouse.

In addition to the environmental benefits, the cost of energy will be stabilized, insulating NID customer’s from PG&E rate increases.

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“NID is a leader among water agencies in the production of clean, renewable hydropower and, with this change, we become a leader in the use of that clean, renewable power,” stated Keane Sommers, Manager of Hydroelectric Operations. “This step is also further evidence that NID is acting on its sustainability policy that calls for NID to become more socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable.”



Water quality is among the best in the state

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2019 Water Quality Report

NID drinking water continues to meet and surpass all state and federal public health standards, according to findings of the annual water quality report.

The District treated and distributed more than 2.8 billion gallons of surface water in 2019. This water originated in the Sierra snowpack on five mountain watersheds.

Effective operation and maintenance of the NID drinking water distribution system assures high-quality drinking water travels through the system to customers.

Read the Water Quality Report here.




Crews scramble against Jones Fire threat

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NID crew member snuffs out smoldering vegetation and cleans debris from Newtown Canal.

NID workers took quick action when the Jones Fire broke out on Aug. 17-18 to ensure fire retardant from nearby firefighting efforts on the Jones Fire did not affect water entering the Lake Wildwood Treatment Plant.

On that Monday afternoon, NID was notified that fire retardant dropped on the blaze got too close for comfort to the Newtown Canal, and was threatening the water in canal, which delivers supplies to the Lake Wildwood Treatment Plant. The fire retardant is non- toxic, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but the District didn’t want to take any chances.

An NID crew closed the intake from the canal hours ahead of the impacted water reaching the plant. A backup supply of water stored at the plant for treatment and delivery to customers was accessed, while the impacted canal water bypassed the plant.

As a result there was never a significant threat to the Lake Wildwood drinking water supply.



Healthy watersheds – healthy community: NID focuses on environmental stewardship

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As agents of our natural resources, NID places a high priority on watershed stewardship. Ongoing and specific projects focus on watershed health, conservation of water, restoration of montane meadows, improving fish habitat and reducing the risk of catastrophic fire in our forests.

Fire fuel reduction work continued at Scotts Flat Reservoir to improve forest health and reduce the fire risk on forested lands adjacent to the reservoir and to nearby residential communities. Work crews used chainsaws and other equipment to cut ladder fuels, and remove hazard trees and excess vegetation



Water conservation: every drop counts

Water conservation was a theme during October, as California recorded its hottest September on record, and a strong dry pattern continued through the fall.

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NID collaborated with the Sierra Business Council the importance of the District’s water efficiency programs and public conservation efforts, during an Oct. 21 webinar.

NID’s “water efficiency” webpage featured conservation tips and tools, including practical information, such as how to measure water use with a free online calculator and tips to reduce indoor and outdoor water usage.  Click here to read more about water efficiency.



Annual flushing program begins

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NID’s annual flushing program to clean out treated water distribution lines ensures a fresh, high quality water supply is always available.

 The work entails flushing waterlines throughout the entire District, from Cascade Shores in Nevada City to North Auburn. Using fire hydrants, our crews blast water (up to 400 gallons a minute) through the main lines to flush away any residue that may have collected over the year.

The program started in November, and continues through February 2021.

Read more about the flushing program here.



New NID Directors sworn in

 The District welcomed two new members to its Board of Directors. Rich Johansen (Division V) and Karen Hull (Division III) were sworn in on December 9. The new directors join Ricki Heck (Division I), Chris Bierwagen (Division II) and Laura Peters (Division IV in Placer County).

During 2021, Chris Bierwagen will serve as Board president, and Laura Peters will serve as vice president.


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Board Member Karen Hull
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Board Member Rich Johansen






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