NEVADA CITY – In a presentation to the Nevada County Board of Supervisors today Nevada Irrigation District (NID) General Manager Rem Scherzinger outlined the benefits the Centennial Reservoir and Power Supply Project will bring to Nevada, Placer and Yuba county residents.
“The Centennial Reservoir will help our region prepare for prolonged dry periods and sustain regional industries such as farming and ranching, enhancing our agricultural legacy,” said Scherzinger. “The reservoir will capture the rain and snow runoff that we cannot currently capture, providing a reliable and safe water supply for our community.”
The Centennial Project will provide clean drinking water, green energy and critical water storage to Nevada, Placer and Yuba county residents. Amid historically devastating drought conditions, NID is undertaking this project to meet the region’s existing and future water needs in a sustainable way by better protecting the state’s natural resources, as well as the small farms and ranches that use the majority of NID’s water supply.
NID currently relies, in large part, on mountain snowpack that in the average year can boost NID reservoir storage by 50 percent. Located below Rollins and above Combie – two smaller reservoirs that are NID owned and operated – Centennial Reservoir will increase the district’s storage capacity by nearly 50 percent.
“This project is not an expansion of our system,” said Scherzinger. “Centennial is designed to capture water that is in our water conveyance system, and to which NID holds water rights. This water is currently being lost to our community because we don’t have the ability to store it.”
Nevada County supervisors thanked Scherzinger for the presentation, with District II Supervisor Hank Weston commenting that the project could meet Nevada County’s water needs for the next 50 years. Nine members of the public addressed the board, expressing concerns or support for the project.
The Centennial Project construction will begin in 2021, coinciding with NID’s 100th anniversary. It is anticipated the reservoir will hold up to 110,000 acre-feet of water and include two power units (with a third at Rollins), low-impact public recreation and a new irrigation water supply system for the Dog Bar-Magnolia road area in southern Nevada County. NID will use the most advanced science and technology available, including new approaches to wildlife and habitat protection and clean, green power generation.
The reservoir site has been part of NID’s water management system since the early 1920s. A significant portion of the land required for the reservoir is already in public ownership, with NID and the federal government as primary landowners. NID is currently working with private property owners to acquire the necessary lands.