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NID implements mandatory conservation to address emergency water shortage

The 20% reduction plan includes a three-day watering schedule and commonsense practices

A graphic of a faucet with a drop of water containing a miniature green landscape, and texts urging water conservation due to shortage.

Grass Valley (June 27, 2024) In response to the current water shortage emergency, the Nevada Irrigation District (NID) needs to enact mandatory water conservation measures for all treated- and raw water customers.

The measures include an assigned three-day watering schedule for lawns, ornamental landscape and turf. In addition, there is a list of commonsense measures to cut back on treated water usage.

NID is entirely reliant on a limited supply of stored water in Rollins and Scotts Flat reservoirs after damaged infrastructure owned by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has cut off deliveries through Lake Spaulding to NID. Emergency repairs by PG&E to the infrastructure are underway, but some unforeseen challenges have caused repair delays. This has severe impacts to the District’s operations and, ultimately, its ability to deliver a reliable supply of water to NID’s customers. Conservation is necessary to stretch the limited water supplies in Scotts Flat and Rollins reservoirs.

Water levels of these reservoirs are dropping dramatically. As of June 26, 2024, Rollins was at 52 percent of usable capacity, and Scotts Flat was at 68 percent of usable capacity.

“Our local water emergency continues, and conserving water is more important than ever. That is why NID has adopted emergency mandatory conservation measures to achieve a 20 percent reduction in water compared to 2023,” said Director of Water Operations Chip Close.

“The issue is not related to water supply or drought; it is a water delivery problem caused by ongoing emergency repairs to PG&E infrastructure at Lake Spaulding. Sierra snowmelt has been flowing; the problem is the damaged infrastructure has effectively cut off our delivery system. The water is flowing down the South Yuba River and away from our conveyance into Scotts Flat or Rollins reservoirs,” Close said.

Three-day water schedule

Both treated- and raw water customers will be limited to a three-day watering schedule, effective immediately. This applies to the watering of lawns, ornamental landscape, and turf.


  • Odd property addresses are permitted to water turf on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
  • Even property addresses are permitted to water turf on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.                                   

All watering of lawns, ornamental landscaping and turf needs to be done in early morning (before 7 a.m.) and late evening (after 9 p.m.).

Commonsense Conservation

The mandatory conservation measures include commonsense practices aimed to reduce water usage. These include:

  • Keep water on your property: no runoff is allowed from watering that flows onto adjacent property, walkways, roadways, parking lots, and the like
  • Put a nozzle on it: when you wash your car, the hose must be fitted with a spray nozzle or attached device that cuts off water when not in use
  • No fake water features: don’t fill a fountain or other decorative water feature, except where the water is part of a recirculating system 
  • Ask for a glass of water: drinking water won’t be automatically poured in eating or drinking establishments. Thirsty? Not a problem: water is available upon request
  • Traveling? Forego daily washed towels and sheets: hotel and motel operators will provide guests with the option of not having towels and linens laundered daily. Choose to save water by not having washable items changed every 24 hours.

NID Directors approved the conservation measures during a board meeting on June 26.  Of note, the new measures do not include canal rotation shutoffs to the system.

Earlier in the year, customers volunteered to reduce their usage. To date, raw water customers have saved 450 miners inches (4,000 acre-feet). Voluntary conservation by treated water customers has saved about 3 million gallons (163 acre-feet). One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre with one foot of water.

Directors were told that the mandatory conservation, with the aim of 20 percent savings, could save 1,000 acre-feet a week of raw water and 300 acre-feet a week of treated water.

“This emergency situation puts pressure on us all to do our part to save water,” Close said. “NID thanks our customers and community for understanding and supporting these conservation measures. Together, we will get through this.”

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