Skip to main content

Irrigation Water Frequently Asked Questions

What the the current water rates?

Download the Current Irrigation Water Rates

What is a Miner’s Inch of Water?

1 miner’s-inch 11.22 gallons per minute. View Video.

How can I pay my water bill?

You may pay by cash, check or electronic fund transfer. Contact NID customer service staff to pay via cc

1). Pay by mail

  • Use the return envelope, accompanying your water bill.

2). Pay in person at the NID Business Center

  • 1036 West Main Street, Grass Valley, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

3). Placer County Drop Boxes.

  • Outside the gate at the NID North Auburn Water Treatment Plant, 12200 Locksley Lane in North Auburn, or
  • Safeway, 2500 Bell Road in Auburn (box located near store entry).

4). Set up an automatic payment program through your bank.

  • Download electronic fund transfer form.

How is my bill calculated?

If you use irrigation water, you will purchase water on a seasonal basis. Some customers purchase both summer and winter water. NID irrigation water is measured by the miner’s-inch, a historic water measurement that goes back to the Gold Rush. A miner’s-inch equals 11.22 gallons per minute, on a 24-hour per day basis.

This has been a wet year. Will my water rates go down?

Drought or deluge, NID must be prepared. Costs for service continue. In cases of extreme drought, such as in the mid-1970s, water sales suffer yet service must continue. In very wet years, the district has faced rising costs for repair of flood and water damage. Overall costs of water service can be affected as much by too much water as by too little water. Download Drought Contingency Plan

Will I always have irrigation water on the April 15 opening of the irrigation season?

The NID irrigation season runs from on or about Apr. 15 to on or about Oct. 14. Canal flows are based on crop needs and weather conditions. If crops do not need water, the water may be wasted. In addition, canals cannot handle both irrigation flows and storm runoff, so operation, especially early in the season, is based on storm patterns. Prudent management allows more water to be kept in storage for use when needed.

How do I know if I’m using the right amount of water on my crops?

On the average, irrigated pasture requires about one-half miners-inch of water per acre but this can vary. NID assists customers in this area through use of specialized computer programs that use localized soil and climate data. These programs are designed to evaluate your irrigation system, your irrigation schedule or home landscape plan. Call NID’s Operations Department at (530) 273-6185.

Knowledge of water measurements can help you understand how your water bill is computed, how fast a canal flows and how much water a reservoir holds.

Here are some common water equivalents:

What’s an acre-foot?

  • 1 cubic foot 7.48 gallons
  • 100 cubic feet 748 gallons
  • 1 cubic foot per second (CFS) 450 gallons per minute
  • 1 CFS 646,360 gallons per day
  • 1 million gallons 3.07 acre-feet
  • 1 miner’s-inch 11.22 gallons per minute
  • 1 acre-foot 1 acre of land covered 1 foot deep


Watch the video - What is a Miner’s Inch of Water? 

Join our mailing list