What NID has to offer its customers | TheUnion.com

What NID has to offer its customers

A recent survey conducted by the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) indicates that Californians, including many of our elected leaders, don’t know much about special districts.

Nevada Irrigation District is a special district, and we have made similar observations. There are many people living here in our community who don’t understand who we are, what we do and how we do it.

I believe we have done a good job in building understanding and support among our 24,000 customers who rely on us for their water supplies. Through good service, personal contacts, our customer newsletter, Web site and other means, we tell our story on a daily basis.

But not everyone who lives within district boundaries (in Nevada, Placer and Yuba counties) is a customer. There are many thousands of local residents who use water supplied by cities or other special districts or from their own water wells. Many of these citizens have little or no contact with NID.

Here’s a brief overview:

NID was founded in 1921 by Nevada County voters who wanted a dependable, year-round supply of water. Five years later, in 1926, residents in a wide area of Placer County were successful in joining the young district.

Defined as “a special district operated by and for the people who own land within its 287,000-acre boundary,” NID was established as an irrigation district. The district also supplies water for municipal, domestic and industrial purposes.

The district is an independent agency, governed by a five-member board of directors. Members of the board are elected by district voters to four-year terms.

The district was formed under state law and operates under rules and regulations conferred by the California Water Code.

Today, NID supplies irrigation water and treated drinking water. The district operates seven hydroelectric power plants that generate clean hydroelectricity as the water flows down the mountains. We also are active in watershed protection, resource management and public recreation.

NID is headquartered on an 18-acre site in Grass Valley. We have a customer service office and maintenance yard in Placer County and a hydroelectric division office above Colfax. The district employs 170 and operates on a combined annual budget of $43.5 million.

In geographic terms, NID is one of the largest special districts in the state. Special districts provide an array of vital services. In addition to water, public services including sewer, fire protection, parks and recreation, reclamation, flood control and mosquito abatement are often provided by special districts. Operating at the local level, special districts provide accessibility and accountability to their constituents.

Your elected representatives on the NID board are Division I (Nevada City), Nancy Weber; Division II (Grass Valley-Chicago Park), John Drew; Division III (Alta Sierra-Lake of the Pines-south county), Scott Miller, M.D.; Division IV (Lincoln-Auburn), R. Paul Williams; and Division V (Penn Valley-Lake Wildwood), George Leipzig.

To learn more about the district, I invite readers to visit the NID Web site at http://www.nid.dst.ca.us or call or e-mail me or any of my staff members, pick up a newsletter or brochure at the office or join us at a public board meeting (at 9 a.m. the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month at the district office, 1036 West Main Street, Grass Valley).

We welcome any suggestions on how we might do a better job as your local special district.


Ron Nelson is the general manager of the Nevada Irrigation District.

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