On October 6th, Great Basin Land and Water completed the purchase of 2,748 acre-feet of water rights from the Truckee Meadows Water Authority (TMWA, say “tum-wa”) for water quality in the lower Truckee River. This purchase, along with previous purchases of water rights for water quality, fulfills a requirement of the Truckee River Operating Agreement (TROA) to purchase 6,700 acre-feet of water rights for Truckee River water quality. The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe will hold the water rights for the benefit of the entire lower river and Pyramid Lake fisheries. A $7 million grant from the Bureau of Reclamation under its “Terminal Lakes Program” paid for the acquisition.
The acquisition of the 6,700 acre-feet of water for water quality in the lower river was a requirement of the TROA and was the last hurdle before the agreement could be fully implemented. Completion of TROA is a major accomplishment for the negotiators and benefits the residents of the Truckee Meadows through the ability of TMWA to store more water in upstream reservoirs as drought reserves. It also benefits the Truckee River by allowing greater flexibility in river operations that enhance the ecological function of the river and through improved flows when droughts reduce the amount of water in the river to a trickle. You’ll find the full TROA agreement at the TROA website.
A little less than 11,000 acre-feet of water have been purchased by Great Basin Land and Water over the last decade to benefit flows in the lower Truckee River and Pyramid Lake.