NID to Declare an Emergency for the Feb. 10 South Yuba Canal failure

NID photo

GRASS VALLEY, Calif. Feb. 28, 2017 – Late on Tuesday afternoon NID published the agenda for a special meeting of their board of Directors to be held tomorrow, Wednesday, March 1 at 1:00 pm at the district office. The sole item on the agenda is to declare an emergency for the South Yuba Canal failure, which happened on Feb. 10, according to the staff report.

The supporting document for the item gives the following background:

“On February 10, 2017, in a remote canyon near Bear Valley, a landslide occurred on a steep hillside that PG&E’s South Yuba Canal traverses. The slide caused a section of elevated canal to break free of its footings creating a breach and interrupting service. The canal is utilized by PG&E to generate hydroelectric power and is one of the main water conveyance facilities for NID’s Nevada County operations. Waters conveyed through the canal supply homes and businesses, including farms and ranches throughout Nevada County. The District is currently utilizing the natural flow of Deer Creek and backup pump systems to meet current customer demand.

The declaration of emergency will help facilitate immediate repairs to the canal in an attempt to reduce water supply impacts in the coming months.”

The Board of Directors is anticipated to pass a resolution “declaring a water shortage emergency, authorizing extraordinary water conservation rules and regulations, and authorizing emergency activities and projects.”

The South Yuba Canal is owned and operated by PG&E and is “an integral component of the District’s water delivery system, and specifically is the primary conduit for conveying water between Spaulding Reservoir and over 12,900 District Water users located in Nevada County.

In the resolution, NID states the collapse results in their “inability to convey and deliver water to over 12,900 of its water users” to both Grass Valley and Nevada City. The district anticipates increased demand during spring and summer, as well as the beginning of irrigation season on April 15, 2017.

The resolution reads in part: “The Board finds and determines that the collapse of the South Yuba Canal has created an emergency situation where the ordinary demands of water consumers served by NID, the City of Grass Valley, and Nevada City cannot be satisfied without depleting the District’s water supply to the extent that there would be insufficient water for all beneficial uses of water used by the District, including human consumption, sanitation, fire protection, and agricultural uses within the area serviced by the supplies from the South Yuba Canal.”

The meeting will be held at the NID District Office located at 1036 West Main Street in Grass Valley at 1:00 pm.

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