Nevada County water district approves Orr Creek reservoir improvements |

Nevada County water district approves Orr Creek reservoir improvements

The Union staff

The board of directors for the Nevada Irrigation District voted on Wednesday to authorize major work to the aging Orr Creek diversion facility.

The reservoir is a raw water diversion facility for the Gold Hill system, which has been operating since 1852.

It is not known when the current diversion facility was constructed, but it was rebuilt in 1936, according to district documents. Its capacity in 1936 was roughly 27 acre feet, but a 1980 survey indicated that the volume had reduced to 10.3 acre feet due to the accumulation of silt. The district estimates that the current volume is 3 to 4 acre feet.

The maintenance project will remove 10,000 cubic yards of sediment from the facility and complete repairs to the diversion structure. Facility cleaning will be conducted as part of routine maintenance, the staff report read, noting that no one knows when this facility was last cleaned. Currently, the facility is leaking and has an aged pipeline. Repairs are anticipated to include replacement of the current 30-inch pipe, realignment of the Gold Hill canal pipeline, and repairing leaks.

Part of the project includes a bypass of the facility to allow sediment removal and facility repairs. A previous bypass no longer exists, and houses have been built on top of the historic bypass location. This project is part of the Sediment Removal Program, which has a budget in 2019 of $650,000.

Directors also unanimously voted to update district policy regarding the board meeting agenda, moving special orders to the top of the agenda and keeping warrants in General Orders.

The general manager reported district water storage is 180,031 acre feet, which is 67 percent of maximum capacity or 96 percent of average for the water year. Precipitation (as measured at Bowman Lake) is 70 percent of average at 20 inches.

The next regular meeting of the NID Board of Directors will be held at 9 a.m. on Jan. 23.

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