Tag Archives: communities

One Truckee River Plan adopted by Washoe, Sparks, and Reno

Truckee River at 2nd Street in downtown Reno in June.

One-two-three – each of the local governments has now adopted the One Truckee River Plan when the Reno City Council unanimously voted for it on September 28. The Washoe County Commission and Sparks City Council approved the plan earlier this month. A year-long process established the plan with involvement of many citizens and groups and agencies from the community. The approved plan addresses numerous issues of the Truckee River (and tributaries) through the urban area of the Truckee Meadows.

Community members at the first "One Truckee River Plan" meeting in fall 2015.

Community members at the first “One Truckee River Plan” meeting in fall 2015.

The One Truckee River Plan phase one lays out goals for implementation as funding becomes available and a time-frame to accomplish them.

  • “Goal One: Ensure and protect water quality and ecosystem health in the Truckee River” has six specific objectives with more detailed sub-objectives dealing with storm water, watershed management, human impacts, trees and vegetation, wildlife habitat, and the proper functioning of the river and its floodplain lands to attenuate flooding.
  • “Goal Two: Create and sustain a safe, beautiful and accessible river connecting people and places” also has 6 specific objectives to address appropriate use and discourage illegal activities, promote planning and management between Cities and County, enhance public safety and access, ensure better transportation and restrooms, add public art and murals, provide housing for homeless and access to medical care as an alternative to living on the river.
  • “Goal Three: Create an aware and engaged community that protects and cares for the river” has five specific objectives to promote awareness and education of the river’s natural and cultural importance, increase student education and participation, add opportunities for activities for all, inspire culture of stewardship, and ensure easy access to information. The latter could include a Truckee River Visitors Center, a network of kiosks, encouraging collaboration to Native American cultural uses of the river, and opportunities to acquire land or protect natural or cultural resources.
  • “Goal Four: Create an aware and engaged community that protects and cares for the river” has four specific objectives to create a sustainable organizational model to make implementation of the plan successful, develop partnerships and raise awareness of the plan, bring in funding to support the plan, and improve our understanding of the condition of the Truckee River.

The One Truckee River Plan – OTR Plan – is probably the most comprehensive look, yet, at the needs of the Truckee River and how to make the river a better place to visit while improving water quality, safety, accessibility, and helping residents and visitors to understand what makes a river “healthy”.

Truckee River Walk along Riverside Drive.

Truckee River Walk along Riverside Drive.

Organizations which were key to pursuing and moving the plan to adoption are The Nevada Land Trust and Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful. The National Park Service helped with funding and local and state agencies along with the Reno Sparks Indian Colony and the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe.

One of the key features to the plan is community education and involvement and that is always a positive to help make changes in the river corridor where they are very much-needed today. The next phase of the plan will address downstream of the Truckee Meadows where rapid development in Washoe County and Storey County continue to threaten the river and its vegetative corridor. Phase two of the OTR Plan may well be more controversial since industrial interests have dominated recently with construction of huge new buildings, roads, and bridges.

For now, we can celebrate a new approach to benefit our area’s most important natural resource – the Truckee River.

Truckee River, March 2015 - flows of 290 CFS through Reno are substantially below normal river flows.

Truckee River, March 2015

 

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Water for Tesla?  Not a problem?

American White Pelicans at Pyramid Lake. Pyramid Lake has fallen more than 25 feet since the drought began in 2000.

When you think of an industrial facility such as the Tesla Lithium Battery Gigafactory, it is easy to overlook the need for water to run it.  But most places that make things need to use water at some point in the process.  The Tracy power plant east of Reno is an example.  It is located on the Truckee River because to make power you need water for both the steam-powered turbines and for cooling. How much water will the Tesla Lithium Battery Gigafactory require every year? Will Tesla’s gigafactory recycle water and have little net use of water?  Or will it require lots of water?

The proposed Tesla Battery Gigafactory designed to match the 2013 world-wide output of lithium batteries by 2020. The gigafactory is now slated for Nevada's Storey County in the TRI Center.

The proposed Tesla Battery Gigafactory designed to match the 2013 world-wide output of lithium batteries by 2020. The gigafactory is now slated for Nevada’s Storey County in the TRI Center.

On September 5th, Mark Robison of the RGJ wrote an article “No water worries for Tesla at Reno industrial park.”  Therein he quotes the owner of the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Park (TRI), Lance Gilman, as claiming he has ample water.

“We’re really not impacted by the drought situation,” [Gilman] said. “Our water source appears to be incredibly stable and we haven’t seen a change in it at all (during the drought). We can pump 2 to 3 million gallons a day or more under today’s capacity and that’s, of course, expandable dramatically.”

In a more recent RGJ article on Reno’s potential lack of sewer capacity, it said TRI would like to receive water from the Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility.

” The Tahoe Reno Industrial Center has already expressed interest in the effluent. The Regional Plan, however, prohibits the gray water from being shipped out of the service area.”

The TRI facility lies within the Truckee River watershed and groundwater or surface water use will impact the Truckee River and Pyramid Lake and communities east of the Truckee Meadows.

The Truckee River in September 2014 below the Glendale TMWA Treatment Plant is mostly dry.

The Truckee River in September 2014 below the Glendale TMWA Treatment Plant is mostly dry.

How much water Tesla needs and where that water will come from did not appear to be part of the decision-making process for Governor Sandoval’s negotiators.

It should have been.  The Tesla deal could cost us a lot more than the negotiated $1.25 billion.

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Welcome to our new Truckee River website and blog.

 

Floating the river is a popular summer activity which depends on healthy river flows. Floating the river is a popular summer activity which depends on healthy river flows.

Floating the river is a popular summer activity which depends on adequate river flows.

The Truckee River is the keystone of our communities from the town of Truckee in California across the state line in Nevada to the cities of Reno and Sparks, and continuing on to Wadsworth and Nixon on the Pyramid Lake Paiute Reservation. The river is our life blood supplying water for many uses along its 114 mile length.  The river paints a different scene with its sinuous blue ribbon of water through each day and throughout the year.  It talks to its visitors in its turbulent rapids and quiet riffles alike.  It is home to fishes and birds in all seasons.  It is a place of solace for all of us.

The goal on our pages is to remind us that the Truckee River is essential to our way-of-life –  to remind us that we use the river but must not over-use the river – to remind us that a clean river is not just essential to fish and wildlife but to all of us as well – to remind us that flood plains are publicly costly places to develop businesses and infrastructure – to remind us that recreation is dependent on public access to the river – to remind us that flood-control is best achieved by not needing it – to remind us that restoring the river is akin to restoring our future.

We welcome discussion on our pages of the often complex water issues facing our communities. Understanding the important roles of water conservation, water treatment, flood control, river restoration, river recreation, and protecting the river floodplain is necessary to the formation of sound public policies to keep the river healthy for generations to come.  

We hope that the website will also offer background and resource and historical information which will inform us all.  

Your help in commenting and offering feedback will help us in making sure our information is up-to-date and accurate. 

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