Nevada irrigation water deliveries impacted by PG&E repair delays

PG&E powerhouse repair delays spark water concerns for Nevada's PCWA and NID, prompting conservation measures and potential hardship for agriculture.
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  • PCWA and NID express concern over PG&E’s Spaulding #1 Powerhouse repair delays.
  • The delays impact irrigation systems and reservoir carryover capacity.
  • PCWA and NID are taking measures to conserve water and mitigate potential losses.

June 18, 2024 — The Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) and Nevada Irrigation District (NID) have expressed their disappointment and concern regarding the ongoing delays in repairing the Spaulding #1 Powerhouse by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E).

Delays Impacting Water Delivery.

The repair work, initially scheduled for completion by early June, has now been pushed back to late JulyOpens in a new tab.. This is one of several delays in the repair process since the powerhouse was taken offline in early March due to a leak and subsequent damage. The delays have triggered water conservation efforts by both PCWA and NID.

In a joint statement issued June 13,Opens in a new tab. the agencies stated, “We are disappointed and deeply concerned about the latest delay in repairs at the Spaulding #1 Powerhouse. These continuous delays jeopardize the water delivery systems for both NID and PCWA, which rely on water from Lake Spaulding. The failure to complete these repairs in a timely manner impacts not only this year’s irrigation season but also the carryover capacity of Rollins (PCWA and NID) and Scotts Flat (NID) reservoirs, complicating the management of water resources.”

A Water Delivery, Not Supply, Problem.

The agencies emphasized that the issue is not a shortage of water, but rather a problem with the delivery system caused by the unresolved repairs to PG&E’s infrastructure. They acknowledge the complexity of the repairs but stressed the importance of timely completion for their operations.

“This is a water delivery problem caused by unresolved repairs to PG&E’s infrastructure, not a water supply problem. We understand the challenges and difficulty of the repairs, but both agencies are dependent on PG&E’s timely repair and the ongoing delays are disappointing,” the joint statement said.

Impact on Irrigation and Mitigation Efforts.

The delays are expected to immediately impact irrigation customers, particularly during hot weather when water is crucial for livestock and farming operations. Both agencies are implementing measures to mitigate the potential total water loss in the most affected areas. They are determined to stretch water resources and preserve what’s available in Rollins Reservoir as much as possible.

The statement continued, “These delays are expected to most immediately impact our irrigation customers during some of the hottest days, when water is crucial for livestock and farming operations. Measures are being taken to mitigate the potential total loss of water for those in areas most impacted by the delay. The agencies are determined to stretch water resources and preserve what’s available in Rollins Reservoir as much as possible.”

Call for Water Conservation.

Both agencies urged their customers to assess their water usage, immediately curb waste, and reduce consumption. Each agency will communicate further actions to preserve water resources in the coming week.


View of Lake Spaulding taken from high in the Sierra Nevada mountainsOpens in a new tab.. The building is a rim powerhouse fed from Lake Fuller higher up the mountain.  Loco Steve, July 2011. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.


Since 1995, Deborah has owned and operated LegalTech LLC with a focus on water rights. Before moving to Arizona in 1986, she worked as a quality control analyst for Honeywell and in commercial real estate, both in Texas. She learned about Arizona's water rights from the late and great attorney Michael Brophy of Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite. Her side interests are writing (and reading), Wordpress programming and much more.

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