In a first for this century, the Truckee River went dry in Sparks on July 31. It remained at zero flow for around 36 hours, before going up again. What happened? Here you can see a dip in the Reno gauge to just 7 CFS for at least 24 hours between noon on July 30 to noon on July 31. Apparently, the entire flow of the river was then removed at the TMWA Glendale water takeout resulting in no water downstream as measured at the Sparks gauge. (Note: the red * on the graph means that an actual person measured the flow at that site and time.) Truckee River flow recovered at the Reno gauge to 40 CFS by early morning August 1 (followed by a rapid drop to 15 CFS) and today the river at the Reno gauge is nearly 60 CFS. However the Sparks gauge remains just a little better than half of that flow as of 5 PM today. Having the river go dry for even a short time is no milestone that anyone would celebrate. I’m glad that flow has returned to help keep the fish and wildlife along the river surviving (if barely) this summer and into fall. The rains helped upper elevation vegetation and trees, but have done very little to put water in the river.
In other news, the Governor’s drought forum will be in Sparks, August 19. Here is the scoop.