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Frequently Asked Questions

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Q Why did the Nevada Irrigation District decide to pursue the Centennial Reservoir Project now?

The historic drought persisting across California starkly highlights the need for additional water storage in our region. The community’s existing water use exceeds NID’s current storage and supply capabilities and NID needs to enhance its capacity to collect and conserve water.The Centennial Reservoir Project allows NID to continue to be a good steward of our natural resources while providing clean water and clean energy to local residents. The project will improve the overall health of our region’s watershed and preserve our valuable “area of origin” water resources and rights.

NID has been preparing the region for the Centennial Reservoir since the 1920s. As of today, NID, federal and state entities own more than 60 percent of the project’s anticipated land needs and the appropriate water rights from the Bear River.

Q How much does the project cost and how will the District pay for it?

The planning and building Centennial Reservoir Project will cost an estimated $200-300 million. NID will use potential funding through state water bonds and other sources, which may include a local bond issue and recreational funds.

Q What are the project benefits?

The Centennial Reservoir Project will provide a range of economic, environmental, and social benefits, including recreation, flood control, water supply, river navigation, and extensive wildlife habitat. View a detailed list of the benefits here.

Q When does NID plan to begin the project?

According to current estimations, the Centennial Reservoir Project will begin construction in 2021, aligning with the 100-year anniversary of NID. The project is expected to begin operating in 2023. View a complete timeline here.

Q Is it possible to expedite the project due to the drought?

Yes. In January 2014, Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. declared a state of emergency in California due to the devastating impact of the drought, a declaration that remains in place. During a state of emergency, the governor has extraordinary authority to suspend certain regulations, including those that could impede the timely completion of a critical project such as the Centennial Reservoir Project. The legislature could also pass laws expediting the timeline for certain water projects. Because of this, there is a chance the Centennial Reservoir Project could be fast tracked to quickly address a water shortage or related supply need.

Q How does the project fit with other NID water conservation measures?

NID has been vigilant in its water conservation efforts, including water conservation policies, canal encasement, urban water management plan, conservation ordinances and watershed management activities. Water users in Nevada and Placer counties have responded accordingly, saving more water than many areas of the state during the summer of 2015. In addition, NID operational adjustments and customer use reductions this year have reduced the use of irrigation water from the district’s canal system by 14,122 acre-feet of water from 2013 levels.

Q Will the project require more water to be diverted from the Yuba River to the Bear River?

The water right associated with the project does not call for water to be diverted from the Yuba River for storage in the proposed Centennial Reservoir. Instead, the project may actually lessen the need for water diversions from the Yuba River to the Bear River in certain year types.

Q What effects will the reservoir have on neighboring ecosystems?

The Environmental Impact Report will be evaluating potential impacts and mitigation options.

Q Will sacred Native American sites be protected or mitigated?

Yes, the District is currently working with the United Auburn Indian Community to identify and mitigate impacts on Native American sites.

Q Will the project cause an increase in area traffic?

The Environmental Impact Report will be evaluating potential impacts and mitigation options.

Q Who will the water stored in Centennial Reservoir be used for?

Currently, water would serve the District customers within Southern Nevada and Placer counties.

Q Will the public be able to access the lake?

Absolutely! NID anticipates maintaining a public access beach on both sides of the lake for residents and visitors to participate in recreational activities, including swimming, kayaking and fishing. NID envisions a five mile per hour speed limit on the lake and no resident docks, although people with property bordering the lake will be able to walk down to the water for recreational activities. NID is also exploring plans to build a trail around the edge of the lake for walkers and bikers.
Contact Us

"Today’s drought certainly raises awareness of the importance of water storage but our planning goes much further."

Rem Scherzinger

NID General Manager

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