Nevada Irrigation District water crisis deepens, temp relief found

Rollins Reservoir
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  • PG&E infrastructure damage cuts off NID water supply.
  • NID implements rotating canal outages to conserve water.
  • Canal outages temporarily canceled due to successful conservation efforts and altered water management.

June 27, 2024 –– The Nevada Irrigation District (NID) continues to grapple with a severe water shortage crisis caused by damaged Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) infrastructure at Lake Spaulding. This has cut off water supplies to NID customers in Nevada and Placer counties, severely impacting lake levels, recreational activities, and hydroelectric generation.

In response to the crisisOpens in a new tab., NID initially requested a voluntary 20% reduction in water usage from all customers and announced temporary, rotating canal outages on June 12th. These outages aimed to conserve water as the district relied solely on the limited capacity of the DS Canal for water delivery.

However, on June 20th, NID announced the cancelation of the rotating canal outagesOpens in a new tab. due to successful customer conservation efforts, recent weather patterns, and adjustments to water management practices. The district increased the head pressure going into the DS Canal by filling the Lower Scott’s Reservoir to its maximum elevation, allowing for increased water delivery and temporarily averting the need for further outages.

While the temporary relief is welcome news, the water crisis is far from over. PG&E recently announced an additional month delay in repairs at the Spaulding 1 Powerhouse, further exacerbating the situation. NID will continue to closely monitor the situation and may need to reimplement the canal outages if necessary.

In a statementOpens in a new tab., NID General Manager Jennifer Hanson praised the efforts of the operations team and acknowledged the ongoing challenges: “The NID operations team has been able to work their magic and we are able to postpone the canal outages on the Scott’s Flat side. We are running more flow tests to see how hard we can push the system to determine if we can also make it through the peak in July.”

NID customers are encouraged to continue their conservation efforts to help mitigate the ongoing water shortage crisis.

Image Credit:

Rollins Reservoir on June 21, 2024, at 84% capacityOpens in a new tab.. Photo taken from Orchard Springs vantage point by Nevada Irrigation District.


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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