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County water agencies may form alliance

A proposed agreement between water agencies in Nevada and Placer counties hints at the fact that the agencies might face booming growth and change together.

Wednesday, the Nevada County Irrigation District board will review an understanding with the Placer County Water Agency to provide water for the Lincoln-area building boom. The pact also calls for the boards to band together to protect their hydroelectric and water supply assets in the future.

The pact could well be the beginning of what NID General Manager Ron Nelson earlier had deemed “the first step in a very, very long relationship.”



According to language in the agreement, NID and its Placer counterpart could “develop comprehensive long-range master plans” for the future. A relicensing agreement could “protect each party’s water supplies” and have the two agencies working together to relicense their hydropower plants by 2013.

The relicensing process is expected to take from now until 2013 to complete, a complicated matter involving the water districts, PG&E, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, environmentalists, possibly American Indian tribes and others. All of these groups have an interest in the water and power coming off of the Nevada and Placer watersheds and could be looking for a piece of the pie.




The board will also consider an agreement with the city of Lincoln to do a study for a new treatment plant to serve up to 12,000 new city homes within NID borders. The pact also includes a plan for water rates and capacity, and an agreement to pay for and build the water treatment plant together.

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KNOW AND GO

What: Nevada Irrigation District board meeting

When: 9 a.m. Wednesday

Where: NID boardroom, 1036 W. Main St., Grass Valley


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