Welcome to Plan for Water
The Nevada Irrigation District (NID) has initiated a community collaboration process to support the District’s Raw Water Master Plan (RWMP). Called Plan for Water, the process aspires to reach and involve everyone within the District to help guide water resource management efforts into the future. *
Clarification for Misstatements in the Opinion Piece “New NID Board Fires Plan for Water Consultants” by the South Yuba River Citizens League
In the Jan. 24 opinion piece “New NID Board Fires ‘Plan for Water’ Consultants” by the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL), there are misstatements that need clarification. The piece was posted to SYRCL’s website here and on Yubanet.com here.
We are presenting this clarification response only to those who have elected to be kept informed of NID’s Raw Water Master Plan Update and specifically the Plan for Water engagement process. In an effort to increase transparency and accountability of fact, we hope this clarification of misstatements will only serve to help all parties move forward collaboratively throughout the process.
SYRCL’s release contains inaccuracies that “Kolbe’s prescriptive Plan for Water process was shaping up to be a “trojan horse” for Centennial Dam because there was…”
- no opportunity to contribute or review the hydrological data
- no public input incorporated into the final RWMP product
The third misstatement is the closing sentence of the opinion piece: “NID will also select a new professional facilitator to direct the M50 process in the coming months.”
Misstatement #1: … No opportunity to contribute or review the hydrological data
The Plan for Water process specifically noted how the CRG community advisory committee would review hydrological data. This is supported consistently in documents approved by Board of Directors and material detailing the Plan for Water CRG process:
- Resolution 2018-20 approved by the NID Board of Directors on Sept. 6, 2018
Resolution 2018-20 states the community advisory committee “will review technical studies and develop multiple pathways to address the future supply and demand conditions. NID will provide technical analysis of each pathway and work with the Advisory Committee to refine and finalize pathways for presentation to the Board.”
- A formal description of the Plan for Water CRG process
The formal description states on Page 2: “Unique to this update, the process will include a more extensive public input and participation component. A pathway Advisory Committee will be convened and will comprise of representatives of the diverse community identities within the District’s service area. The Advisory Committee will review technical studies and develop multiple pathways to address the future supply and demand conditions. NID will provide technical analysis of each pathway and work with the Advisory Committee to refine and finalize pathways for presentation to the Board. The Board will review the pathways in public workshops and ultimately select a pathway for NID to implement.
On Page 4: “The CRG and comments from the community outreach efforts will identify elements, issues, and potential pathways for the Technical Group to analyze, flesh out, and provide analysis details for discussion.”
- Community Representatives Group (CRG) Charter
The “Responsibilities” section of the charter notes: “The process will include presentations and discussion of technical information regarding supply and demand forecasting that will contain technical data. Later in the process, members will discuss and develop alternative planning scenario pathways for technical evaluation. Members are asked to review and support the technical analysis.”
Misstatement #2: … No public input incorporated into the final RWMP product
As part of the public group process, the Community Representative Group (CRG) would develop strategic options, aka pathways, for analysis and consideration by the Board of Directors. The Board would review all CRG pathways and select the strategic vision to use as a basis to update the RWMP.
- Community Representatives Group (CRG) Charter
The CRG charter notes, “As part of the Plan for Water Team, work efforts will develop policy strategies for proactive management of water resources for the next 50 years and beyond to ensure that our water needs are met. Ultimately, the NID Board of Directors will select one or more of the pathways developed by the Team.”
CRG Process Description document: https://rwmp.nidwater.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/CRG-Process-Description-v8.pdf
- Page 2: Promise to the Public
A successful community collaboration process to update the RWMP is the top priority of NID. The Board commits to collaborate with the public throughout the process to ensure community involvement, participation, and ownership of the proposed pathways. The framework will allow all ideas and considerations to be brought to the table for possible inclusion in the pathways. Feedback and active communication will be embedded at each step so that community members can see how their input and contributions are reflected in the process and included in the proposed pathways.
- Page 3: Definition of CRG
The Community Representatives Group (CRG) will represent multiple community identities and inputs throughout the process. The CRG will meet with the other project working groups in a facilitated meeting process through each step. These workshops will step through the process, ultimately producing multiple pathways designed to achieve a balance between community identities and respective water supply needs. Different than other advisory group processes, this CRG is not expected to select or recommend a chosen pathway. The NID Board of Directors will ultimately select the chosen pathway(s). However, the process is designed to allow all community identities multiple ways and opportunities to discuss options together, provide input, develop practical strategies, and present their vision to the Board. Additional information about the CRG process is presented in the CRG Charter document.
Misstatement #3: NID will also select a new professional facilitator to direct the M50 process in the coming months.
There was no formal mention of hiring a new facilitator in the BOD direction made on Jan. 23.
The motion (by Director Ricki Heck) was to direct staff to pursue the American Water Works Association (AWWA) M50 process with stakeholder participation, and remit the issue to the engage the District’s Water & Hydroelectric Operations (WHO) Committee, which will then form a stakeholder group that will then begin the RWMP update process. What that process will look like is yet to be determined.
Regarding The Kolbe Company contract, the decision by the Board was to “terminate without prejudice” at its Jan. 23 meeting. This decision was made in the context of the decision to pivot toward the American Water Works Association (AWWA) M50 approach as a more efficient and cost-effective approach to the District’s planning needs. Read more about the Board’s decision here.
The WHO Committee will begin the work to set up a stakeholder group to continue the update process at its next meeting.
Directors Chris Bierwagen and Heck serve on that committee, which meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 9 a.m. The meetings are open to the public.
If you are a returning visitor, you’ll notice that content and information is on this site has been updated. That is because public participation in the RWMP update is being reapproached to fall within the American Water Works Association (AWWA) M50 process. A description of the Community Representatives Group (CRG) approach—the process concept that was previously proposed—can be found on the Documents page.
At the January 23rd NID Board Meeting, it was decided that the District’s Water & Hydroelectric Operations (WHO) Committee will lead development of a new M50 process for the RWMP update. This is a top priority for the WHO Committee, so dialogue around this work is expected to be part of the next meeting taking place on Tuesday, February 12 at 9 a.m. at the Nevada Irrigation District main office.
Sign-up for Process Communications
This site will be the online information hub for the process. It will be updated regularly with process information, activities, and meeting notices. If you would like to receive process update notifications, sign-up for the Plan for Water newsletter located beneath the menu navigation of this page.
Questions or Comments?
The Contact Form is available to submit questions and comments regarding the RWMP update and public participation.