Waterways A NEWSLETTER TO THE CUSTOMERS OF THE NEVADA IRRIGATION DISTRICT 4 GOVERNOR’S CALL: REDUCE WATER USE BY 25% UNTIL THE DROUGHT ENDS 2015 RECREATION SEASON UPDATE PAGE 4 Volume 36 • Number 1 • Spring 2015 Water Conservation Needed NID Customers Urged to Reduce Use by 25% NID customers are being asked to reduce water use by 25 percent (from baseline 2013 levels) as California endures a fourth year of drought. The 25 percent statewide mandate was announced Apr. 1 by Gov. Brown after snow surveys showed a state snowpack with just five percent of average water content. The governor's mandate strengthens the 20 percent cut he declared in 2014. State Water Board officials, however, are working within a framework that could require 35 percent reductions in some areas of the state where household use has been higher than in others. NID may fall within the 35 percent requirement when the Water Board issues its final ruling, expected in early May. NID's urban water users achieved a 16.4 percent conservation rate last year and are being urged to redouble their efforts this year. (Please See 25%, Page 2) Saving Water at Lake of the Pines Lake of the Pines General Manager Fred Dean-Turner is pictured with NID Water Efficiency Technician Aurora Tipton at the LOP golf course where several water conservation measures are in place. T he folks at Lake of the Pines are setting a good example when it comes to saving water during California's ongoing drought. LOP is one of NID's largest customers. The Lake of the Pines Association purchases up to 125 acre-feet of irrigation water per year for its lake. In addition, NID drinking water is used by nearly 2,000 LOP homes and community accounts. General Manager Fred Dean-Turner and his Board of Directors have followed a very proactive approach to the water shortage over the past two years. Voluntary Reductions In 2014, they voluntarily reduced their irrigation water purchase by 10 percent and are doing the same this year. With another 21 treated water accounts (Please See LOP Saves, Page 4) Nevada Irrigation District • 1036 West Main St., Grass Valley, CA 95945 • (530) 273-6185 nidwater.com WATER SUPPLY • CONSERVATION • WATER SUPPLY • CONSERVATION 25 Percent - Continued From P. 1 The NID Board of Directors has declared a Stage III drought emergency for urban water users and a Stage II drought emergency for irrigation water users. THREE DAYS PER WEEK The governor's restrictions place mandatory limits on urban outdoor irrigation. NID is calling for a maximum of three days per week during the hottest months, two days at other times and less or not at all when possible. CONTINUING 2014 RESTRICTIONS • no washing down of sidewalks and driveways • no washing of a vehicle with a hose, unless equipped with a shutoff nozzle • no use of fountains or decorative water features, unless the water is part of a recirculating system NEW 2015 RESTRICTIONS • no irrigation of turf or ornamental landscapes during and 48 hours after measurable precipitation • restaurants and other food service establishments can serve water to customers only on request • hotel and motel operators must provide guests with the option of having towels and linens laundered daily RULES FOR WATER SUPPLIERS • must notify customers when they are aware of leaks that are within the customer's control • must limit outdoor irrigation to specified days per week • must report monthly to the State Water Board on the number of days to which irrigation has been limited, and describe compliance and enforcement efforts. 'Sierra Nada' Scant Snowpack Sets 94-Year Record O n April 1, NID snow surveyors measured just four percent of average water content in the mountain snowpack, the lowest April 1 measurement in 94 years of NID records. The unusual lack of snow has generated a new nickname: “Sierra Nada.” The snowpack on five NID mountain snow courses at the 5800-7800-foot elevations held an average 1.5 inches of water. This compares to the Apr.1 average of 33.7 inches. A year ago, the 2014 drought year showed an Apr. 1 water content of 12.1 inches. Until this year, the record low year had been 1934 with 9.1 inches. The current water shortage is due more to the nature of the storms that moved through the region than the amount of precipitation. By Apr. 1, precipitation had reached 40.62 inches, or 69 percent of average. But most of this year's precipitation has fallen as rain rather than snow, meaning that as reservoirs are drawn down there is little or no snowpack runoff to refill them. Storage Cushion Against Continued Drought NID continues to operate its water system very conservatively, keeping as much water as possible in reservoir storage. The district plans to carry over to 2016 a minimum of 75 percent of the historic 111,000 acre-foot average. As of Apr. 1, storage in the district's 10 reservoirs was at 216,800 acrefeet, which is 82 percent of capacity and 120 percent of average for the date. However, with little snowpack, reservoir levels are expected to drop rapidly through the year. Drought Brings Water Awareness The current four-year drought, which began in 2012, ranks among the most serious in recorded California history. By early April, most of the state was classified as being in either “severe” or “exceptional” drought. A recent report by the State Department of Water Resources (DWR) chronicles the documented droughts in the state from the “extremely severe 1929-34 dry spell” that occurred when the state's population was less than six million people, to today's drought in a state of nearly 39 million. Other notable dry periods are 1976-77, generally regarded as the most significant drought of recent decades; and the longer but less severe dry period of 1987-92. “The water years of 2012-14 stand as California's driest three consecutive years in terms of statewide precipitation,” said Jeanine Jones, the DWR's deputy drought manager “We do not know how long this drought will last. It's important for Californians to remember that drought is a part of life in California and we can learn from history as we try to emerge from each drought better prepared for the next.” SaveOurWater.com. Your Guide to Saving Water Save Our Water is a statewide program aimed at helping Californians reduce their everyday water use. Created in 2009 as a partnership between the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), the program offers ideas and inspiration for permanently reducing water use - regardless of whether California is in a drought. The program is reaching millions of Californians each year with its water-saving message and tips. Browse the Save Our Water website to uncover ideas on saving water indoors and out. We can all make a difference in California's water use by making simple changes to our daily habits. PAGE 2, NID WATERWAYS, SPRING 2015 New Pipeline to Connect Banner and Cascade Shores N early 1000 people who reside in Cascade Shores at Scotts Flat Reservoir are served by a small water treatment plant that relies on the 19-mile-long South Yuba Canal from Lake Spaulding as its sole supply. That is changing this year as NID constructs more than three miles of new 12-inch water main lines to connect Cascade Shores to the modern Elizabeth L. George Water Treatment Plant on Banner Mountain. NID project manager Tonia Tabucchi Herrera says the estimated $2.5 million project will bring multiple benefits to Cascade Shores: • The community will no longer be subject to water outages on the South Yuba Canal, such as those caused by snow and winds in recent years. • The small and aging Cascade Shores Water Treatment Plant will be converted into a water storage facility and the system will be connected to NID's advanced E. George system, which uses both the Cascade and DS canals for source water. • Cost effectiveness, increased system reliability, and higher service levels. “This project continues the district's long-term effort to consolidate and regionalize our water treatment system,” Tabucchi Herrera said. The route for the new pipeline has been selected and Irrigation Season 2015 Managing Vegetation on the Canal System Water is flowing in canals throughout NID service areas as the 2015 irrigation season opens. It is also a time when vegetation control activities are a priority. NID crews are out working to keep district canals free of algae and aquatic weeds. Uncontrolled weed growth can clog canals, use valuable water supplies, and impact flows to customers. Brian Morris, NID's assistant maintenance superintendent for vegetation control, said up to 400 miles of canals will be treated this irrigation season. Control of terrestrial weeds along canal berms is also under way so that access is available to district personnel for maintenance and operation of the system. For more information, see www.nidwater.com and look under the Irrigation Water tab. There you'll find the Aquatic Weed Control Application Schedule for this year along with other helpful information on the program. www.nidwater.com The approved route for the new BannerCascade Shores water line project is shown on the above map. approved by the Board of Directors' Engineering Committee and environmental studies are scheduled for completion this spring. The district plans to advertise for construction bids in late summer or early fall and construction could begin in fall or winter, weather permitting. Completion is anticipated in Summer 2016. The project will include fire hydrants every 1000 feet or so on properties that are within and outside district boundaries. Lateral pipelines will make water available to nearby properties. Pending settlement of current water right issues, properties now outside of district boundaries could become eligible for water service. Fixing Old Pipelines Without the Big Dig R epair and replacement of old pipelines has always been a messy and often costly endeavor. Digging trenches through roads and private property, sometimes requiring new access where there had been none, obtaining easements and rights-of-way. Now, NID is testing a new method of pipeline repair, one where expandable sleeves of “cured in place” liners are placed within existing pipelines, extending pipeline lives by many years. Maintenance Director Brian Powell said the district's first installation of Insituform fabric liner was completed this spring on the 1500-foot-long Godwin Siphon (pipeline) on the Rattlesnake Canal, south of Alta Sierra. The 18-inch liner was unfolded from a truck - 750 feet from each end of the pipeline- tied together in the middle, pressurized into place and steam-hardened. Powell said the process, completed during a fourday canal outage, compares to a traditional replacement that may have taken more than a month. He said the method is favorable to landowners, less costly to the district, and could become part of NID’s ongoing maintenance effort. NID WATERWAYS, SPRING 2015, PAGE 3 LOP Saves - Continued From P. 1 for its various facilities, the association reduced its water bill last year from $29,322 to $20,820, a savings of nearly 31 percent. “We're partners with NID, we're in this together, and we know the drought is serious,” said DeanTurner. “We're trying to do all we can. We want to lead by example.” Dean-Turner, a natural resources graduate of UC Berkeley, is taking advantage of all opportunities to spread the conservation message among LOP residents. His manager's report in the monthly Lake of the Pines News community newspaper has been focusing on water use. He and others have used Channel 7, the community television station; issued email messages and circulated brochures and other conservation materials. Last year, LOP residents reduced their water use by a combined 11.5 percent. Dean-Turner said he anticipates greater savings this year. On the Golf Course Golf courses in general and LOP in particular have been making significant advances in water use efficiency. The Lake of the Pines course is irrigated from the lake and continuing efforts are aimed at reducing water use on the course. Dean-Turner said a three-year management plan is identifying sections of the golf course where less frequent irrigation is appropriate. New irrigation controllers, timers and software are leading to more efficient use. Nighttime irrigation with new high efficiency sprinklers has reduced usage further. Soil monitoring helps maximize effectiveness. Emphasis has been placed on drought-tolerant golf course landscaping. “The people who live and work here are very appreciative of what we have,” said Dean-Turner. “We feel it's very important to do the right thing.” How to Contact Your Elected Directors DIVISION I - Nevada City Area Nancy Weber, (530) 265-0424 Board Vice President, 2015 DIVISION II - Grass Valley-Chicago Park John Drew, (530) 272-5257 DIVISION III - Lake of the Pines-Alta Sierra Scott Miller, M.D., (530) 268-8778 Board President, 2015 DIVISION IV - Lincoln-North Auburn Jim Bachman, (916) 645-2059 DIVISION V - Penn Valley-Lake Wildwood Nick Wilcox, (530) 432-2171 Newsletter produced with 30 percent post-consumer waste recycled paper and vegetable-based inks PAGE 4, NID WATERWAYS, SPRING 2015 Recreation Season Update F ull operations are scheduled this year at NID campgrounds at Rollins and Scotts Flat reservoirs. Recreational opportunities include camping, boating, swimming, fishing, sailing, kayaking, hiking and many related activities. NID Recreation Manager Peggy Davidson said that because of the drought Scotts Flat is not expected to fill all the way this year but that boat ramps will be in water and all services will be in operation. Higher water levels with all services are planned at Rollins. For information on Scotts Flat, see www.scottsflatlake.net. For Orchard Springs at Rollins, see www.orchardspringscampground.com. For Peninsula, see www.penresort.com. For Long Ravine, email [email protected] NID NEWS BRIEFS Water Efficiency Tech. Named Aurora Tipton has been named as NID's Water Efficiency Technician, effective Mar. 23. In her new position, Tipton, who transfers from Customer Service, will be responsible for coordinating NID's water use efficiency and conservation programs. Water Quality Reports Each spring, NID publishes water quality reports, titled Consumer Confidence Reports, that summarize the quality of water supplied to district customers through the previous calendar year. The 2014 reports are scheduled to be posted in May at www.nidwater.com. See Water Service/Treated Water. Building Near NID Facility? If you are planning to build a bridge, culvert, gate, fence or other structure near a district canal, pipeline or easement, please check with NID first to obtain an encroachment permit. The permits are free and allow landowners to utilize their properties while protecting the safety and operation of the public water supply. ACWA Features NID Stewardship Project A case study on NID's 2011 stewardship project to improve fish passage on Auburn Ravine in the City of Lincoln was featured in the March ACWA News, published by the Association of California Water Agencies. The project was recognized earlier as a 2012 finalist in ACWA's Clair A. Hill environmental awards program. See the story here: http://www.acwa.com/news/digitalacwa-news/acwa-news-march-20-2015 NID’s QR Code Scan this QR Code with your smart phone for direct access to the NID website.
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