GRASS VALLEY June 28, 2012 – Although Englebright Dam and Daguerre Point Dam are located downstream of the Nevada Irrigation District, NID officials are concerned that their future operation could impact NID water supplies.
The NID Board of Directors on Wednesday (June 27) instructed staff to prepare and submit comments to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) related to a biological opinion issued in February by the service.
In a briefing to the board, NID water resources consultant Paul Kelley noted that the NMFS opinion says the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' operation of the two dams is endangering fish life in the lower Yuba River. Furthermore, he said, the opinion names other agencies, including NID, that use water from the Yuba-Bear river watershed.
"It may have unintended consequences for NID, PG&E and the Yuba County Water Agency," said Kelley. "It assumes that their operations are integral to the operations of the dams and are impacting fish."
NID legal counsel Jeff Meith said it is important for NID to be on record, as the issue could affect future water and power operations. "We need to send them a reminder," he said. "It looks like they're taking a downstream impact and moving it upstream."
The district is expected to finalize and submit its comments in the next few weeks.
In other business, NID directors:
• heard a report and approved a budget amendment and change orders for the recent refurbishment of a hydraulic actuator beneath the dam at Scotts Flat Reservoir. The actuator, which was leaking and is one of two used to control water flows at the dam, was removed by divers, repaired and reinstalled. Total cost of the project was $214,000.
• voted to purchase a dump truck and three half-ton pickup trucks using fleet prices available through the California Multiple Award Schedule (CMAS). The district will pay $110,129 for the four vehicles.
The next regular meeting of the NID Board of Directors will be held at 9 a.m. on July 11 at the NID Business Center in Grass Valley. NID board meetings are open to the public.
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