A Long-Range Decision Tool to Guide NID’s Water Management
This process is an open and comprehensive look by NID and the community at the potential limitations of its available water resources and the impacts of new regulations, changes in land use, climate change, and community visions. Though science will play a part in understanding the risk and impacts, the Plan for Water will not identify the programs or projects need to meet future demand. Instead, the Plan for Water will develop a range of potential scenarios for the NID Board of Directors to consider when determining the best ways to meet the community’s demand for water over the next 50 years while weighing the impact on the District, the community and the environment.
Long range planning ultimately involves forecasting & projecting future conditions based on realistic, valid and supportive assumptions. Regardless of the technology, science, or process used, assumptions still must be made to produce a forecast. These assumptions dictate what the community will be and look like throughout the planning horizon of 50 years. There is a wide range of assumptions that can be made for any particular data point, all of which may be equally valid. It is the purpose of the Water Planning Projections, to define forward-looking and viable assumptions which are supported by industry-standards and reasonable methodology developments.
The Plan for Water is born of the FERC relicensing effort, climate change impacts, financial requirements, and new regulatory requirements. The Plan for Water does not re-analyze or revisit any new requirements set by FERC or the State. Instead, it sets these requirements as the new normal, and looks ahead 50 years to anticipate potential supply/demand scenarios and identify alternative solutions.
Plan for Water – Schedule Adjustment
NID plans to reengage in the Plan for Water effort in Q3, 2021.
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Background: Plan for Water
On Jan. 15, 2020 the Board of Directors conducted a workshop to discuss and offer direction on key goals and critical success factors for Plan for Water's Public Outreach Process design.
The Nevada Irrigation District’s Plan for Water was last updated in 2005 and adopted in 2013. The plan helps guide decisions related to the water system over the next 50 years.
The District is updating the plan to reflect changes in water demand, supply and the potential effects of climate change. The plan is an organizational tool that seeks to align resource decision making with community values and District operational needs, including technical and cost criteria requirements. When complete the plan will show how a variety of future water supply and demand scenarios could be integrated to ensure our community enjoys the same high-quality, reliable water system we have now.
Public Outreach is a Key Component
Engaging the public through outreach and direct involvement in long-range planning is a best practice.. The District’s plan will benefit from a public outreach process that increases public understanding of water resource challenges, considers the community’s long-term plans and priorities, and listens to and learns from the public.
American Water Works Association M50 Manual of Practice
To develop Plan for Water, the District is using a water-industry manual of practice developed by the American Water Works Association (AWWA). The AWWA M50 Water Resources Planning Manual includes recommendations for public involvement, which the District has chosen to use in developing a public outreach process to accompany the Plan for Water.
The recommendations include: use of International Association for Public Participation principles; using assessed risk and community impact to determine the level of public involvement and outreach; and determination of the type and extent of public involvement as defined by the Board of Directors.
For public outreach and involvement to be meaningful, it must feed into Plan for Water process at key points and be aligned with the District’s planning schedule and budget.