Monthly Archives: November 2015

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.)

TMWA’s Water Resource Plan 2016-2035 “open house” meetings

Take a moment to comment on the TMWA Water Resource Plan covering the period from 2016-2035.  The plan outlines water resources and uses for the TMWA service area for the next 20 years.TMWA Public Workshops on Water Resource Plan

Some areas of the plan are particularly weak or dismissive of important issues. One of the glaring oversights in the plan ignores the impact of warming temperatures on the region which affects not only runoff and potentially precipitation, but the length of the irrigation season for the entire service area.  Another problem with the plan is it ignores managing demand for water by encouraging reduced outdoor irrigation and using water saving appliances.  Also, it doesn’t propose increasing the water rates for high water usage tiers nor does it propose increasing the number of tiers for very large water users. There are other issues with the plan so stay tuned and check back with us for more information.  It is important that citizens attend one of these meetings scheduled next week and the 9th of December.

Click here to download the draft plan.

Virginia Lake Cleanup, Nov 14, 9 AM

Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful, the City of Reno, and the Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation are sponsoring a cleanup of Reno’s Virginia Lake Park.  Volunteers will be supplied with trash bags and tools.  The cleanup lasts until noon; volunteers should meet at 9 AM at the west side of the park in the children’s play area.  Contact jaime AT for more information.KTMB Virginia Lake Cleanup Nov 2015

Tahoe’s level still declining despite rain and snow

Tahoe got a slight up tick last Monday (11/2) from the storm which saw significant rainfall of nearly an inch in the Reno area.  It didn’t last, though.  In fact, Tahoe stands lower this Friday (11/6) than it did before the storm.  Of course, the snow and colder temperatures keeps the water in the mountains (which is a good thing), but the water that fell directly on the Lake as either rain or snow should have had a more upward effect, I would think.  Nevertheless, Tahoe is down now to 6221.7 feet – almost a tenth of a foot lower from just a little over a week ago. That means it must rise 15.6 inches just to reach the point at which water can begin to enter the Truckee River at “Fanny bridge”.  The storm was great, but it appears that we are going to need a lot more storms and a lot stronger storms than this one to dig ourselves out of the 15 year deficit in overall precipitation.

Lake Tahoe is still declining despite the early Nov storm.

Lake Tahoe is still declining despite the early Nov storm.