Nevada City, Calif. October 4, 2018 – The Nevada Irrigation District (NID) will soon review the South Yuba River Citizens League’s (SYRCL) request to cease work on Centennial Dam, where legally possible, until the Raw Water Master Plan (RWMP) is complete. The Board will vote on this request at a special meeting – Tuesday October 9th, 6pm at the Grass Valley Veterans Memorial Building. The RWMP is a document that projects future water supply and demand conditions and develops alternatives to meet those needs. That won’t happen if they continue to work on a predetermined solution: Centennial Dam.

“We are happy to see NID prioritize a more rigorous understanding of local hydrology and our community’s water needs, and how our responses to them, are likely to evolve in an uncertain future. Essentially, we support a decision to prioritize the Raw Water Master Plan, and put the proverbial cart back behind the horse, where it belongs,” said Melinda Booth, SYRCL Executive Director at public comment on the April 25, 2018, NID board meeting.

This past April, NID announced they were pivoting away from Centennial Dam and instead focusing on updating their RWMP to cover the next 50 years. At that time, SYRCL sent NID a letter to ask their Board of Directors to cease work on Centennial while they were working on the RWMP. After four months of no official response, SYRCL sent another formal letter requesting the vote.  “We have a variety of concerns—environmental, public trust, and most importantly, fiscal responsibility,” said Melinda Booth, Executive Director.” To date, NID has spent $14 million on this dam project and they don’t have a funding plan, water rights to fill the reservoir, or data justifying the need. Since our April request to stop spending money on the Centennial Dam project while working on the RWMP, NID has spent more than $700,000.”

SYRCL sees the RWMP as an opportunity to positively engage our community in finding a sustainable water future for all but think NID first needs to restore public trust. Additionally, SYRCL represents a set of community stakeholders invested in the sustainable management of our watershed and deeply concerned about the direction NID is choosing. Additionally, SYRCL supports an open and transparent RWMP process that analyzes all water management pathways – including dams. SYRCL sees the RWMP as an opportunity to positively engage our community in finding a sustainable water future for all.

In this request, we are asking NID to be transparent, fiscally responsible, and fully committed to a sustainable water solution for all in the RWMP. The proposed Centennial Dam is a divisive issue for our community, and in order to reach a sustainable solution for our water, we must unite.

Show your support and get involved by joining SYRCL at a 5pm rally before the October 9th meeting, and stay for the important vote that could shape the future of water in this community for the next 50 years.


The South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) is the leading voice for the protection and restoration of the Yuba River watershed. Founded in 1983 through a rural, grassroots campaign to defend the South Yuba River from proposed hydropower dams, SYRCL has developed into a vibrant community organization with more than 3,500 members and volunteers. See: