NID begins studies for new reservoir site |

NID begins studies for new reservoir site

Directors of the Nevada Irrigation District on Wednesday awarded a $1.2 million environmental consulting services contract for the proposed Centennial Reservoir and Power Supply Project.

The successful proposal was submitted by HDR Inc., a worldwide engineering and planning firm with offices in Folsom. The firm’s proposal was rated as best among three submitted to the district. NID had invited proposals from 10 firms.

Centennial Reservoir is being planned at a site on the Bear River below Rollins Reservoir and above Combie Reservoir. Designed to hold approximately 110,000 acre-feet of water, the reservoir would include two hydroelectric power plants and low-impact public recreation.

NID began the multi-year process of constructing the new reservoir in August of last year in filings with the State Water Resources Control Board. NID holds water rights on the Bear River, some dating to the district’s earliest years.

The environmental studies are expected to begin later this year and extend into 2017. The district is planning for construction to begin in 2021 — the year NID marks its 100th anniversary — and for the reservoir to be in operation by 2023.

In other business, NID directors:

— Extended the public comment period to July 27 for the district plan to encase a 1,900-foot stretch of the Newtown Canal in a pipeline. Officials said the canal section, located west of Nevada City, is in poor condition, running at capacity, and must be improved to ensure reliability of water supplies to Lake Wildwood and Penn Valley. Neighbors in the rural project area continue to express concerns about the change.

— Accepted a 2014 audit of the district from the accounting firm of Richardson & Co., of Sacramento. The firm concluded that NID financial statements fairly present the district’s financial position and that NID’s records are kept in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

— Voted to acquire an easement to approximately 2,000 feet of French Lake Road from Sierra Pacific Industries. Senior Right of Way Agent Matthew Crowe said the easement would provide NID with permanent access to its facilities at French Lake, which is located at the 6,835-foot elevation near the top of the NID water system.

The next regular meeting of the NID Board of Directors will be held at 9 a.m. on Aug. 12 at the NID Business Center in Grass Valley. NID board meetings are open to the public.

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