Current Status of the Centennial Water Supply Project:
The Nevada Irrigation District (NID or District) is in the process of preparing the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Centennial Water Supply Project. However, the Board of Directors has directed staff to focus on the Plan for Water, the District's long range planning process.
The District does not anticipate any significant activity related to the Centennial Water Supply Project until the Plan for Water process has been completed. The Plan for Water will look at potential limitations of the District's available resources, and assess future demands. The Plan for Water Process is anticipated to resume in the fall of 2021, and information relating to that process will be available on the District's website.
Currently the Board of Directors have suspended property purchases related to the Centennial Water Supply Project. The 2021 budget for this project is $50,000.
Purpose, Location, and Description of the Centennial Water Supply Project:
NID is proposing to implement the Centennial Water Supply Project (Proposed Project) to provide drought and climate change-mitigation, meet projected future water supply needs, and improve water supply reliability for NID’s customers. The Proposed Project involves the construction of a new 110,000 acre-foot reservoir, on the Bear River between the existing Rollins and Combie reservoirs. The Proposed Project would extend upriver from just above the existing Combie Reservoir for slightly over six miles to a point west of the Town of Colfax, approximately two miles downstream of the existing Rollins Dam.
NID has determined that its current water system is over-reliant on runoff from the annual mountain snowpack, resulting in an urgent and greater need for mid-elevation storage to capture runoff from rain storms as well as snow storms. The Proposed Project’s location is at a site that was initially identified in 1926 as part of an early NID reconnaissance project on the Bear River and found to be a superior water storage location. The region’s climate and precipitation patterns are changing, bringing more rain and less snow resulting in an increase in the need for mid-elevation storage within NID’s water system. The proposed reservoir is designed as a storage recovery project, rather than an expansion project. The Proposed Project would provide drought-mitigation and recapture water lost due to changing climate and reduced snowpack. The Proposed Project would also allow NID to continue to meet existing water delivery commitments and to bring more flexibility in meeting the future water supply needs of customers in all parts of NID’s service area.
The Proposed Project would involve construction of a new dam and associated facilities. The anticipated water depth at the dam would be approximately 255 feet, and the height of the dam would be approximately 275 feet. NID anticipates that low impact public recreational opportunities (e.g. five-mile per hour maximum speed on the reservoir, pedestrian trails, swimming, and kayaking) are also anticpated to be included with the Proposed Project.