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How NID is Preparing for a Changing Climate

Saw Mill Lake on a beautiful summer day


As an agency rooted in the foothills of Northern California, we are fortunate to get our water directly from the source near the Yuba River, Bear River, and Deer Creek. However, we recognize that water is finite; the ever-changing conditions of our environment may impact our ability to provide for our stakeholders long-term. Issues like climate change and droughts present constant challenges for Californians. Planning for these implications is integral in sustaining our mission to deliver reliable, high-quality water to our community members. 

For the past 100 years, we have made it our purpose to be good stewards of our watersheds and preserve the limited resources of our environment. While we focus on the future, we must understand that climate changes can affect the amount of available water from our sources while the water demand continues to rise.

What will we do if this happens? How can we ensure that we will continue to serve our community in the future? To address these concerns, we have created the Plan for Water, our way of planning for climate changes, and the continuance of our dependable water.

What is our “Plan for Water?”

The Plan for Water is a community effort to manage NID’s water resources. It is a process of open collaboration to decide how best to provide our community’s water for the foreseeable future. As we work alongside our stakeholders to gather various viewpoints, we will develop several approaches. We will then employ the plan results to manage our water effectively. 

At NID, we care to understand our community’s long-term objectives and priorities, which is why the public voice is integral to developing our Plan. In turn, we hope to promote a greater understanding of the challenges faced in water conservation within our community as our climate continues to change.

The Plan for Water process will review NID’s current water supply and its corresponding influence on various water demands. Then, the Plan will utilize hypothetical scenarios to demonstrate possible ways in which climate change will impact supply. Based on observations, we will propose new water management practices to ensure that the community will continue to enjoy the same quality water that NID delivers today.

Objectives of the Plan for Water

What do we hope to achieve with our Plan for Water? When collaborating with our community members, we aim to do the following:

  • Assess our water situation together
  • Develop a deeper understanding of subsequent impacts to community interest and the community’s future
  • Provide a forum for community members to offer their input
  • Focus on overarching policies and not on specific projects
  • Understand what is important to the community and why
  • Create a 50-year plan using the best information available at this time


We are a forward-looking agency passionate about involving all stakeholders in our decision-making. Your voice matters to us, and we want to know how you would like to see NID approach environmental changes that impact us all.

How Does the Plan for Water Work?

The process will take a step-by-step approach through 11 stages. There will be opportunities for creative problem solving, brainstorming, and developing strategic options during each step. We invite the public to participate in workshops covering the stages where questions and concerns are addressed. 

The Plan will project ranges of possible water demand and supply scenarios. It also will include potential limitations of available water resources and the impacts of climate change, new regulations, and changes in land use. 

The ten stages of our Plan for Water are as follows:


In each step of the process, we intend to promote meaningful, balanced, and organized community collaboration. We have designed this process to encourage open, innovative, and practical contributions to the Plan for Water by all stakeholders wishing to be involved. 

By the end, we will collect potential scenarios for analysis and consideration. The District Board will then review the options and select a strategic vision for moving forward.

Working Together as a Community

Together, we will assess our community’s water situation. We seek to develop a deeper understanding of impacts on community interests and the community’s future. Our purpose is to provide a forum for community members to offer their input instead of a closed process consisting only of technical experts. 

To remain future-oriented, we will focus on overarching strategic policies rather than specific projects. We want to understand what is really important to the community and why and use this information to pursue community solutions within our legal responsibilities to our customers and landowners in our service area.

We encourage you to become involved as we pursue our Plan for Water as a community member, landowner, and stakeholder. Everyone’s use for water differs. We want to learn how you hope to see us approach water preservation into the future!


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