Reservoir levels in Nevada Irrigation District doing better than last year |

Reservoir levels in Nevada Irrigation District doing better than last year

Officials with the Nevada Irrigation District say they’re cautiously optimistic about reservoir levels, as autumn brings the possibility of rain into Northern California.

Last fall and winter brought much-needed rain to the state, which helped refill reservoirs and build snowpack. It put NID into a strong position going into 2017.

That robust position NID enjoys is doubly good because the region likely won’t get any effect this year from El Nino, said Chip Close, the district’s water operations manager.

“It is much better than last year,” Close added. “We’re doing considerably better.”

NID’s reservoirs are currently at 70 percent total capacity, compared to 52 percent at this time last year.

The district’s reservoir levels are at 115 percent of their 47-year historic average. They were at 86 percent last year, Close said.

“The winter played a key role,” he added.

NID captured much of last winter’s rain behind its dams. Customers also helped by conserving their water use.

State-mandated conservation rates for Nevada County have since been lifted. NID officials, however, continue to urge their customers to save water.

“We all need to be responsible and use it responsibly,” Close said.

One reason Close urges responsible water use is the anticipated water regulations expected in the new year. Gov. Jerry Brown ordered the State Water Resources Control Board to develop those new rules.

“Nobody knows what those final regulations are,” Close said. “In fact, they won’t be out until January 2017.”

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email or call 530-477-4239.

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