TMWA Water Plan ignores warming climate, water demand

Diversion to TMWA's Glendale Water Facility on the Truckee River

Soon the Truckee Meadows Water Authority (TMWA), the folks who supply your water, will ask their Board of Directors (BOD) to approve the “Draft Water Resource Plan 2016-2035″.  (The BOD membership is composed of 3 from the Reno City Council and 2 each from the Sparks City Council and Washoe County Commission.)

Unfortunately, the draft Plan falls well short of offering a realistic look 20 years into the future.

Please take a moment to email the TMWA BOD with the following comments and recommendation changes:

  1. The Plan ignores the potential impacts to our water supply of a changing climate – increasing temperatures and changes to precipitation timing and amount. Ask the TMWA BOD to insist the Plan contain several scenarios of increasing climate change effects on both our water supply and water demand.
  2. The Plan ignores reducing consumer water demand and instead assumes that more and more of TMWA’s Truckee River water rights will be consumed until they are gone. Ask the TMWA BOD to have the Plan keep water demand constant or reduce it – as other cities in the western US have already done to both reduce cost of infrastructure and operation as well as to help preserve our water supply.
  3. The Plan ignores using tiered rates to charge the highest water consuming customers more per thousand gallons of water use. Ask the TMWA BOD to change the tiered system to encourage water use reduction by charging the highest water users more.

(Note: A final “workshop” on the Plan sponsored by TMWA will be on Dec. 9 at McKinley Arts & Culture Center, 925 Riverside Dr., Reno.)

Truckee River in the Truckee Meadows in Summer 2015

Truckee River in the Truckee Meadows in Summer 2015

With Lake Tahoe below its rim no water can flow into the Truckee River. (This photo is upstream of the Dam that allows storage of water in Lake Tahoe when there is sufficient snowfall and runoff.)

With Lake Tahoe below its rim, no water can flow into the Truckee River from the Lake. (This photo is upstream of the Dam that allows storage of water in Lake Tahoe when there is sufficient snowfall and runoff.)

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About Dennis Ghiglieri

My concern for the Truckee River grew over the years. It started with picking up trash and supporting better water quality. I helped create the "living river"plan with other citizens on the Community Flood Coalition; a plan to reduce flood impacts to infrastructure through river restoration and protection of the floodplain. I understand how critical the Truckee River is to the environment – and economy – of our entire region. I'm hoping that through these pages we can all understand our connection to the Truckee River and why we need to protect it.

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