Monthly Archives: January 2016

TROA is good for urban Washoe County; problems remain to keep Truckee River system healthy

The Derby Dam diverts Truckee River water from its natural course which goes to Pyramid Lake. Instead water flows into the Truckee Canal to the Carson River.

The TROA (Truckee River Operating Agreement) took 27 years to be finished and lawsuits against the Agreement (actually completed in 2008) settled or withdrawn. Now that the celebrations are done and TROA is implemented, what are the benefits to the over all health of the Truckee River?

Mark Foree, Executive Director of TMWA, announcing the purchase of Donner Lake Water Rights.

Mark Foree, Executive Director of TMWA, announcing the purchase of Donner Lake Water Rights.

Water purchases for water quality to increase water in the Truckee River below Derby Dam for the benefit of Pyramid Lake are certainly a benefit; although the amount of water flow is relatively small, it improves the river’s health during periods of lower flow. Also, changes in the timing of water delivery to water rights holders to benefit riparian forest regeneration is a good thing for the River.

The benefits for the urban portions of Washoe County served by TMWA (Truckee Meadows Water Authority)  are very tangible – storage for drought supply in up-stream reservoirs and water exchanges between reservoirs to benefit water supply. This allows TMWA to call for more water during periods of drought to help meet its overall water rights to support urban and suburban customers.

Nevertheless, the majority of water rights owned on the Truckee River benefits urban uses and farmers in the Carson River negatively impacting the urban portion of the river and the areas below Vista.

The Derby Dam diverts Truckee River water from its natural course which goes to Pyramid Lake. Instead water flows into the Truckee Canal to the Carson River.

The Derby Dam diverts Truckee River water away from its natural course which flows to Pyramid Lake. The dam diverts a significant amount of the Truckee River into the Truckee Canal to Lahontan Reservoir on the Carson River.

Are we going to have a healthy and vibrant river system including the Truckee River’s unique inland sea – Pyramid Lake?  Stay tuned and we’ll be discussing the challenges facing the entire Truckee River system in the coming weeks.

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“One Truckee River” Plan moving ahead

Spearheaded by the Nevada Land Trust and Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful with funding from the National Park Service, TMWA‘s Truckee River Fund, City of Reno, the Northern Nevada Water Planning Commission, and the Washoe County Ballot Initiative Question 1 fund, phase one of the “One Truckee River” plan is moving forward.  Stakeholder groups covering 9 issues are diving deeper into topics outlined in the first joint collaboration meeting held on September 30, 2014 at the McKinley Arts and Culture Center. Phase one of the plan covers 18 miles of the urban core of the Truckee River through the Truckee Meadows from Chalk Bluff to the Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility (TMWRF).

The goals of the planning effort are to create a common vision for the river, provide for comprehensive planning, a forum for collaboration & communication, coordinated action, and funding.

The 9 stakeholder groups tackle issues that are often interrelated and multi-jurisdictional. Dealing with river health, public safety, and water quality, for example, involves at a minimum, understanding how to solve problems ranging from encampments along the River to increasing biodiversity of riparian species and finding funding to accomplish them.

Outcomes from the 9 issue areas go next to the core planning team which will be meeting in February 2016.  OnStrategy will produce a draft plan based on stakeholder input by late spring 2016. Public open house meetings on the “One Truckee River” plan are now scheduled for mid to late summer 2016.

Find more on the plan and its goals at onetruckeeriver.org.onetruckeeriverplanningvisionsheet1

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TMWA purchases TCID water rights in Donner Lake

Mark Foree, the executive director of the Truckee Meadows Water Authority, announced at today’s TROA (Truckee River Operating Agreement) celebration that TMWA has purchased the water rights that the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District (TCID) owned in Donner Lake.  TMWA already owed the other half of the water rights to water stored in Donner Lake.

Mark Foree, Executive Director of TMWA, announcing the purchase of Donner Lake Water Rights.

Mark Foree, Executive Director of TMWA, announcing the purchase of Donner Lake Water Rights.

In a followup to his comments, he indicated that the purchase is expected to be completed by the beginning of February.  He also indicated that the TCID has agreed to drop lawsuits it still has regarding the TROA.

The TROA celebration was attended by many of the people who have been working on implementing the Truckee River Negotiated Settlement since the 1980’s.  Senator Harry Reid was instrumental in shepherding TROA for the last 2 and a half decades.  The Senator had planned to attend, but his flight from Las Vegas was cancelled due to the weather.  In remarks delivered by phone to the crowd of more than 75 people,  he acknowledged the many people who helped make TROA possible – including many of the people at the celebration.

Donner Lake with the Carson Range in the background.

Donner Lake with the Carson Range in the background.

 

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TMWA plans to build new water treatment plant on Whites Creek

“TMWA (Truckee Meadows Water Authority) is planning to build a new water treatment plant on Whites Creek near Callahan Ranch Road on the north side of the Mt. Rose Highway. There will be a public Open House about the plans for this plant, January 11 from 5 to 7 pm at the South Valleys Library. This will also be discussed at the Citizens Advisory Board meeting, which I believe is scheduled for Thursday, January 14 at 6 pm, also at the South Valleys Library.” – [email from Beth Honebein]

The TMWA’s plan is to address the dramatic drops in groundwater as development continues in the Mt Rose “fan” area. The development over the last decades have taken more and more water from the depleting aquifer.  The proposed solution – taking more surface water – could further reduce groundwater recharge from surface overland flow and will reduce flows in the creek below the proposed plant. To find out how TMWA plans to handle the current and proposed increases in population in this area it is important to attend the meetings.

Whites Creek flows from the top of Mt Rose and naturally would end in Steamboat Creek.

Whites Creek flows from the top of Mt Rose and naturally would end in Steamboat Creek.

 

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