NID WaterWays Spring 2015 - Nevada Irrigation District

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
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