Nevada City to channel $3.3mil in water funds, looks for locals to help |

Nevada City to channel $3.3mil in water funds, looks for locals to help

With the Cosumnes, American, Bear and Yuba rivers region benefiting from a $3.3 million state grant to improve water quality, supply and infrastructure, Nevada City seeks citizen participation using some of its majority share.

“We are pleased to finally have reached the implementation phase after completing four years of planning, application submittal and contract approvals to install water quality and conservation improvements to water systems,” said Mayor Sally Harris in a statement.

The grant completion was discussed at a late September meeting of the Nevada City Council, which was the overall sponsor of the $3.3 million CABY grant, of which the town will receive $1.5 million. CABY is a collaborative planning coalition of 45 groups across the Cosumnes, American, Bear and Yuba watershed, representing water and government agencies, nonprofits, agriculture, tribes and other interests.

The town of Washington’s water district will receive $1.4 million, Placer County’s will get $230,000 and American Rivers will receive $160,000.

Most of Nevada City’s portion of the funds will go toward projects the city’s officials described as “needed improvements,” such as replacing 100-year-old pipes, installing water meters on municipal facilities and reducing water loss from storage tanks, according to a municipal report.

The majority of the pipes that run through the heart of Nevada City’s historic downtown are 163 years old, dating back to the mining era that sprouted Nevada City.

Overall, Nevada City’s $1.3 million will go to eight projects. The two largest projects are $390,747 for South Pine Street distribution improvement and $342,502 to purchase equipment to detect leaks in the city’s antiquated pipes.

More than $53,600 will be used to hook onto a Nevada Irrigation District water line near Gracie Road, which serves as a backup water source during emergencies.

“It should substantially improve our water system,” said Bill Falconi, Nevada City’s engineer, in a previous interview with The Union.

One project, the development of a Drought Action Plan, differs from the rest of Nevada City’s planned water projects because it is more focused on policy and planning than on physical work.

The plan will dictate water supply procedures in times of drought and could include establishing voluntary and mandatory water-use reduction phases and an update of the parts of the town’s capital improvement plan.

It could also include a long-term plan for reducing overall water demand throughout the community through measures such as water conservation and educational outreach.

For the drought project, Nevada City is seeking citizens with technical expertise or knowledge about infrastructure, drought or drought impacts, long-range planning or with simply an interest in water use or conservation.

City officials want these folks to participate in a four- to eight-person, short-term advisory committee that would meet about five times over the course of the next year, with the first meeting in November, according to a statement.

Anyone interested in the drought committee should submit a one-page statement of interest at Nevada City Hall, located at 317 Broad St., or email to Sara Johnson at by Oct. 22.

To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email or call 530-477-4236.

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