North Marin Water District is Developing New Water Supplies
(Updated September 30, 2021)
In recent months, North Marin Water District (NMWD) has received questions, comments, and ideas from customers and others about how we plan to ensure reliable water supplies as we face a hotter and drier future. Here is an update.
The Latest News: In late September, NMWD’s Board of Directors approved a significant new Local Water Supply Enhancement Study to identify potential new water sources for District customers. The Enhancement Study will explore numerous water supply options, including expanding water recycling, adding desalination, capturing and storing stormwater, increasing Stafford Lake’s capacity, and storing water in underground basins in wet years and saving it for dry years. The goal of this study is to identify local solutions for possible implementation.
NMWD is committed to increasing long-term water supply reliability for District customers. In 2018, the District updated its Strategic Plan, and Goal No. 1 was to increase long-term water supply reliability. We have been working to increase the water supply since that goal was established. For example, in 2019, the District joined a Water Supply Resiliency Study with Marin Municipal Water District and seven other water suppliers that receive water from the Russian River and the Sonoma County Water Agency. The regional study is scheduled for completion in Summer 2022. Because of the current drought, we accelerated the schedule to identify some new near-term water supply projects this fall.
The Local Water Supply Enhancement Study continues the District’s long tradition of proactive water management in Novato. NMWD’s forward-thinking approach to sustainable water supplies has been demonstrated by the major water projects constructed in nearly every decade from the 1950s through today.
In recent years, the District, along with two local sanitary districts, massively expanded the recycled water system. As a result, NMWD now delivers over 250 million gallons of recycled water each year to large landscape irrigation customers and drive-through car washes. Every gallon of recycled water used saves a gallon of valuable drinking water for our potable water customers.
In 2019, NMWD installed electronic meters providing real-time data that helps customers monitor their water use and detect leaks.
Last winter, we anticipated water needs during this severe drought, and the District imported water to refill Stafford Lake to over one-half of its capacity for use this summer. We will refill the Lake again in the coming winter if the drought continues.
The Residential Recycled Water Pick-Up Program and Recycled Water Truck Programs are back. Residential customers can fill tanks and containers with clean, safe, recycled water for hand‐watering of outdoor plants. Contractors with water trucks can pick up recycled water for dust control, power washing mixing concrete, street cleaning, and more. See our website at www.nmwd.com or call 415-897-4133 details.
In addition, our industry-leading conservation programs have helped build a permanent culture of mindful water use in Novato. We are especially grateful for our customers’ conservation efforts during this severe drought. Through their cooperative actions, our customers are on track to meet District-wide conservation requirements.
New water projects can take time to complete, so we need to keep conserving. Careful water use stretches our existing supplies, especially during droughts, and helps provide time to identify, plan, and implement new projects to ensure a sustainable water future for Novato.
We will keep the public informed and invite customer questions and input as we identify new water supply opportunities. Please visit our website at www.nmwd.com to learn more about our efforts, and to take advantage of our WaterSmart Portal, free Water Smart home surveys, rebates, and other water conservation information and resources.