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GRASS VALLEY, Calif. June 24, 2017 – Governor Brown has approved the 2017 – 2018 budget, and with it a Proposition 13 appropriation of $6.13 million to treat and remove mercury laden sediment from NID’s Combie Reservoir. The project, in partnership with DWR’s Riverine Stewardship Program, will assess the scaling of new technology and methodologies to remove sediment and mercury from reservoirs and to determine its financial and technical feasibility in an effort that may prove useful to similar 303(d) listed reservoir sites within the Bay Delta area and other California watersheds.
Mercury was introduced to the Sierra Nevada Mountains during the Gold Rush period of the 1800’s and used to process mining ore for gold. Much of the mercury from those days has remained and has led to wide-spread contamination of sediments throughout the Sierra and Central Valley watersheds.
Project funding has been appropriated from the Proposition 13 Bay-Delta Multipurpose Water Management Program through the generous support from the Department of Water Resources under the leadership of Secretary John Laird. This project will help implement both Governor Jerry Brown’s Water Action Plan and the goals of Proposition 13 by restoring water storage capacity in an existing surface water reservoir, removing mercury from the Bear River watershed, and creating long-term benefits to downstream aquatic habitat.
This three year project is anticipated to begin in the summer of 2017. Thank you to our project partners, including the USGS, The Sierra Fund, the Cosumnes-American-Bear-Yuba Integrated Regional Water Management Group (CABY) and Teichert Aggregates for their support.