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Lower Cascade Canal likely to be drained

Deja vu all over again.

Expect that Wednesday, when Nevada Irrigation District directors will likely stick with their original proposal to drain the water from the Lower Cascade Canal – a popular spot for hiking – and put all of its flow through a new, roughly 4-foot diameter, 51/2 -mile pipeline to be installed across Banner Mountain.

After almost a year of discussion, that’s the option NID directors are expected to formally select for analysis in the project’s environmental impact report.



“Nothing’s changed,” said NID chief engineer Tim McCall. “I think it’s just fine.”

One reason NID officials like the proposed pipeline route is that it will allow water to move downhill by gravity, thereby not requiring pumping.




But the project’s opponents aren’t happy with the direction NID is heading.

“They’ve listened, but they haven’t heard,” said Susan Sanders, chairwoman of the ad hoc group Save Our Historic Canals. She and Steve Baker, chairman of Save Banner Mountain, sent a letter last week alerting their members to NID’s impending decision.

“There’s no reason why they have to dewater the canal,” Sanders said. “I think their final analysis will show it’s cheaper to keep water in the canal.”

If the canal is shut down, NID would have to spend a lot of money getting water to the 86 customers who now receive irrigation water from the canal, she said.

NID proposes to align the pipeline along Wings of Morning, Idaho-Maryland, Banner Lava Cap, Lee Lane and Lava Cap Mine roads.

The proposed route isn’t set in stone, McCall said. The final pipeline route and fate of the canal won’t be decided until the EIR is complete in about a year, he said.

KNOW & GO

WHAT: Lower Cascade Canal decision

WHEN: 9 a.m. Wednesday

WHERE: Nevada Irrigation District headquarters, 1036 W. Main St., Grass Valley


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