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About the Centennial Reservoir Project


Conserving and protecting our most precious natural resource


In August 2014, during the third year of a devastating drought in California, the NID Board of Directors took an important, visionary step to create water storage capabilities to prepare the region for wetter weather conditions and collect and conserve water in anticipation of longer and more intense droughts. This was the first of many steps in the planning, financing and construction of the Centennial Reservoir Project, a new 110,000 acre-foot reservoir on the Bear River located between NID’s existing Combie and Rollins reservoirs.

While larger than Combie and Rollins, the new reservoir will be much smaller than Oroville Reservoir in Butte County, which can hold 3.5 million acre feet of water. The Centennial Project will be about the size of French Meadows Reservoir in Placer County and resemble the Clementine Reservoir in appearance.

Using a site first identified by NID’s chief engineer in 1926, the Centennial Reservoir will extend upriver from just above Combie Reservoir for six miles to a point west of Colfax. When complete, the Centennial Reservoir Project will provide water to homes in the region and offer a recreation area for residents and visitors.


NID has been an outstanding steward of its natural resources for decades. The Centennial Reservoir Project is an extension of NID’s ongoing work to provide clean water to our region while preserving its natural splendor. Food is a core theme in the fabric of our community and NID’s work on the Centennial Reservoir will provide the storage necessary for drinking and agricultural water to ensure a sustainable region that continues to thrive and is adequately prepared to support future generations.

Project Map

“With a fourth year of drought reinforcing the need to invest in additional water storage capacity – both above and below ground – to improve the resiliency of California’s water system, we need to consider ways to make storage investments work to enhance the state’s overall water system.”

Timothy Quinn

Executive Director, Association of California Water Agencies.

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