NID prepares for California-wide efforts to reduce urban water use
In response to Gov. Jerry Brown’s April 1 call for statewide mandatory urban water use reductions, the Nevada Irrigation District is planning to adjust its existing water conservation efforts to comply as necessary.
In his drought emergency announcement, the governor directed the State Water Resources Control Board to implement mandatory water reductions in cities and towns across California. He estimated a 25 percent reduction would save 1.5 million acre-feet of water over the coming nine months.
In a report to the NID Board of Directors on Wednesday, NID General Manager Rem Scherzinger said NID and its customers may be expected to conserve even more. He said the State Water Board looked at water use patterns throughout the state and may call on some areas, including NID, to reduce water use by 35 percent as a way to balance the overall goal with other areas that already use less water.
Scherzinger said the district is working with the state board to find a solution that is more equitable for the district and its customers.
He said the district is also working toward compliance with other proposed requirements, particularly a call for local agencies to adjust their rate schedules to implement conservation pricing, which is seen as an effective way to realize water use reductions.
The governor’s declaration applies to nearly 20,000 NID customers who use piped, treated water. It does not apply to approximately 5,000 agricultural customers who use NID irrigation water, although all customers are urged to reduce usage as much as possible.
Since early 2014, NID has been urging customers to reduce water use by 20 percent. Scherzinger said NID customers responded very well to last year’s drought condition, reducing water use by 16.4 percent from 2013 levels, and that continued conservation is needed until the drought ends.
The greater Sacramento region, including Nevada and Placer counties, has consistently led the state in water use reductions over the past year.
Scherzinger said this week’s welcome storms produced about a foot of snow at NID’s Bowman Reservoir.
He added that it will provide a slight boost in runoff this spring, but will have little impact when it comes to ending the four-year drought.
The next regular meeting of the NID Board of Directors will be held at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, April 22, at the NID Business Center in Grass Valley. NID board meetings are open to the public.
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