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NID finds way to cancel rotating canal outages

NID is canceling the canal outages that were scheduled to begin today, June 20. After analysis of the ever-changing water shortage situation and adjusting water management practices, the District is able to provide enough water in the DS Canal to ensure water deliveries.

“The NID operations team has been able to work their magic and we are able to postpone the canal outages on the Scott’s Flat side,” said General Manager Jennifer Hanson. “We are running more flow tests to see how hard we can push the system to determine if we can also make it through the peak in July.”

On June 12, NID’s Board of Directors approved temporary, rotating canal outages on several canals to save water during a time when, effectively, no water supplies are flowing into the NID system while repair work continues on failed infrastructure owned by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) at Lake Spaulding. PG&E recently announced an additional month delay in repairs at the Spaulding 1 Powerhouse. That delay put NID in a precarious position to deliver water to customers.

The issue was, and is, the capacity in the DS Canal, a major NID artery. Natural runoff flows are diminishing, and the delay in the return to service of the South Yuba Canal means the District must rely solely on the DS Canal for water deliveries. The canal was not designed to carry the entire load of the Nevada County water supply, and was anticipated to run out of capacity towards the end of June.

The District’s operations team has done daily analysis to find a way to continue deliveries facing a water shortage. Several factors have been included in the analysis: successful customer conservation, the recent weather pattern and alterations in water management.

Now, NID is increasing the head pressure going into the DS Canal by filling the Lower Scott’s Reservoir to its maximum elevation to deliver more water.

A serene lake surrounded by forest with sunlight filtering through trees, reflected water, and a submerged log.
Lower Scotts Flat Reservoir sunrise, October 2023 
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