NID keeps water flowing after recent windstorm |

NID keeps water flowing after recent windstorm

Nevada Irrigation District customers are receiving water supplies even though water flows from the mountains have been severed by last week’s windstorm.

The high winds of Nov. 21-22 caused significant damage to the South Yuba Canal in Bear Valley east of Nevada City, where trees fell into and over the canal and shattered flumes. The canal supplies NID’s Cascade Canal, a key source of water into the Grass Valley-Nevada City area.

The damaged canal is owned and operated by the Pacific Gas and Electric Co., which has begun emergency repairs and is helicoptering materials to the damaged areas. PG&E is estimating repairs will be complete by Dec. 21, weather permitting.

NID Water Operations Manager Chip Close said Wednesday that NID has contacted all irrigation water customers who have been affected by the outage and is trucking water to refill customer holding tanks. Users of piped treated have not been affected, but are being encouraged to conserve water.

NID has been utilizing existing storage and pumping limited amounts of water from the lower elevation DS Canal up to the Cascade Canal where it can reach more customers. Close said the district has located and rented high-pressure pumps to pump additional water from the DS Canal.

“The pumps are on the way and due to arrive on Monday,” Close said. “It will take a few days to set them up. Our best estimate is that the pumps will be up and running by the end of next week. This will get all of our customers back in water.”

NID officials said that in the past, winter snowstorms have disrupted flows in the South Yuba Canal, but this is the first time in memory that high winds have created significant damage.

PG&E and NID are placing high priority on the water system repairs because of the South Yuba Canal’s critical importance to the western Nevada County public water supply, officials said.

NID plans is posting updates on the repair effort on its website. For information, see the Irrigation Water Outages link at

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