Centennial Reservoir project timeline
While the Nevada Irrigation District did not begin moving forward with concrete plans for the Centennial Reservoir until 2014, a reservoir at that site had been discussed as far back as the 1920s.
NID engineer Fred Tibbetts, in a 1926 report, is credited with pinpointing a general location for what was then known as the Parker Reservoir, roughly southwest of what is now the Hansen Brothers gravel pit.
According to NID’s website, the Centennial Water Supply Project would extend upriver from just above the Combie Reservoir for six miles to a point west of Colfax. The reservoir would have an anticipated water depth of 255 feet and height of 275 feet. It would have a capacity of 110,000 acre feet of water (an acre foot of water equals about 326,000 gallons, or enough water to cover a football field 1 foot deep, and meets the annual indoor and outdoor needs of one to two households).
Here is a timeline of some of the major milestones in the Centennial project:
January 2015: NID filed an application for the annual appropriation of 221,400 acre feet of water from the Bear River with the State Water Resources Control Board, the first of many steps to build what was then known as the Parker reservoir.
July 2015: NID begins studies for a new reservoir site below Rollins Lake.
October 2015: NID presents Centennial project at Nevada County Board of Supervisors meeting. Construction was projected to begin in 2021.
October 2016: The Foothills Water Network formally opposes NID’s water rights application for the Centennial Reservoir project.
December 2016: In a board meeting, it was noted that $7 million had been spent so far on the project.
April 2017: American Rivers group puts Bear River on an endangered list.
December 2017: NID says it has spent just over $11.3 million to date on project.
February 2018: Anti-dam activists rally in Sacramento to show opposition to Centennial reservoir.
May 2018: The California Water Commission declares the Centennial Dam project application is ineligible for Water Storage Investment Program Proposition 1 funding.
September 2018: Audit report presented.
October 2018: More than 500 people at hearing, board votes to cap Centennial dam spending at $2 million a year.
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