The Nevada Irrigation District (NID) Board of Directors supported a declaration for surplus water during a March 10 teleconference with President Chris Bierwagen, Vice President Laura Peters, and Directors Ricki Heck, Karen Hull and Rich Johansen all present.
Each year, prior to the start of irrigation season that begins in mid-April, Directors review forecasted water supply conditions to consider a surplus water declaration for the upcoming summer months.
The Board reviewed current water supply conditions in support of a surplus water declaration for 2021.
The declaration is based on the following:
· District reservoir storage as of March 1 is 177,010 acre feet, which is 65 percent of capacity and 83 percent of average for this time of year
· The forecasted April-July runoff from the California Department of Water Resources for the Yuba River basin currently sits at 68 percent of average, which correlates to about 84,800 acre-feet in expected NID watershed runoff.
· When taken in total, the water supply information indicates a forecasted available water supply of 261,800 acre-feet. This is in excess of the 235,700 acre-feet necessary for a normal year as established in the District's Drought Contingency Plan.
Much of NID’s water source still is in snow form. Once it melts, it will flow into the District’s reservoirs to be used as raw water for fields and farms or treated water for household and commercial use.
Although surplus exists, the dry conditions and the projection of below average carryover of 146,100 acre-feet vs 166,700 acre-feet at the end of water season mean that the District will be asking for increased conservation and water efficiency practices throughout the remainder of 2021, said Operations Manager Chip Close.
Here’s some background. Each year, prior to the start of irrigation season, the District reviews forecasted water availability for the coming summer months. The forecast includes current storage as well as anticipated snowpack run off based on snow survey data. The data analysis determines whether the District anticipates enough supply for full deliveries, or whether a water shortage contingency plan will be enacted.
Part of the summer water availably analysis includes a determination if surplus water supply is expected. In years where a surplus of water exists, the District can sell the surplus supply to customers outside the District’s boundary.
Historically, NID has provided surplus water service to about 35 local outside District customers in an annual contract. In addition, the City of Grass Valley and the City of Nevada City are outside District customers supplied via long-term surplus water supply agreements.
Read more about the surplus water declaration here.