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Truckee, Calif. – The Truckee Donner Public Utility District (TDPUD), Northstar Community Services District (NSCSD) and Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) are partnering to develop a groundwater management plan and groundwater model for the Martis Valley basin. A contract has recently been awarded to Brown and Caldwell, with local Truckee based Balance Hydrologics as a sub-contractor, to manage the development of the groundwater model and to complete the groundwater management plan and associated public outreach.

‘The development of a world-class groundwater model and associated groundwater management plan for the Martis Valley basin is a big step in managing this critical resource,’ said Brian Martin, Director of Technical Services for PCWA, which is the lead agency in this effort, ‘PCWA, Truckee Donner PUD, and Northstar CSD all share responsibility in the protection of our local water supply and water quality and we take this responsibility very seriously.’

Development of the plan is expected to begin immediately and take about 24-months to complete. The agencies are sharing the estimated $250,000 cost, based on their number of customers, with Truckee Donner PUD contributing $150,000, Northstar CSD $60,000 and PCWA $40,000.  This collaborative effort was also able to leverage an additional $500,000 in federal funding from the Bureau of Reclamation which includes very sophisticated groundwater modeling capabilities from the Desert Research Institute (DRI) along with the inclusion of climate change modeling into the final groundwater model.

‘The Martis Valley aquifer is very complex and fully understanding our water supply and potential impacts to water quality is very hard to do without good science’ said Michael Holley, General Manager of Truckee Donner PUD, ‘We are thrilled to be part of this collaborative effort which will enable us to be better stewards of the aquifer for decades to come.’

The Martis Valley aquifer includes a 35,000-acre area in both Placer and Nevada counties.  It is the main water supply for numerous public and private entities.  This area has seen significant growth in the last two decades with more planned for the future.  Maintaining an adequate water supply and protecting water quality are critical for the region’s future.

‘Having access to the resources at the Bureau of Reclamation and the Desert Research Institute for our groundwater model will really help our communities understand the aquifer’, said Mike Staudenmayer, general manager for Northstar CSD, ‘we expect to have a robust public outreach effort during this entire project to make sure that we are involving all stakeholders.’

Martis Valley Groundwater Management Plan and Model

  • Goal is to ensure long-term quality and availability of groundwater in the Martis Valley basin.
  • Process to include development of the project team and scope of work, public outreach, periodic workshops, groundwater model completion, plan adoption, and management plan.
  • Creation of the groundwater management plan is expected to take two years.
  • Total cost is ~$750,000, which includes grants of ~$500,000 from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Local agency shares are $150,000 for the Truckee Donner PUD, $60,000 for the Northstar CSD and $40,000 for PCWA.

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