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The following are projects relating to work on the Truckee River. Clicking on the project name will show the participants, the available resources, and in some cases, the monitoring locations.

Special Studies

  • Working with the Nevada Land Trust and Caughlin Ranch HOA, and a series of stakeholders, Stantec investigated water quality, flow paths, and pollutants of concern in Alum Creek, tributary to the Truckee River. This report reflects data collected June 24 2014-August 12 2014, and suggests projects for further improvements of water quality on Alum Creek.

  • This project listed includes monitoring of Chalk Creek for TDS, N and P; Watershed Characterization performed by JBR consultants, Technical treatment feasibility performed by EcoLogic Inc, and Community Outreach completed by Olsen & Associates.

  • This thesis, authored by Tom Skiles and published in December 2008, addresses some issues of Virginia Lake. Because this urban lake is a valuable resource to the residents of the Reno area, results are intended to provide information to those who manage its use and resources. Fish populations and water quality issues are addressed, specifically.


  • To protect beneficial uses on the Truckee River, there is a regulatory framework in place which sets standards for water quality in the mainstem Truckee, called Water Quality Standards, and then Total Maximum Daily Load.
    The water quality standards review on the Truckee River is underway, to account for additional data, methodologies, and incorporating water quality models that most accurately depict conditions on the Truckee. Once the Water Quality Standards (WQS) are accepted by stakeholders and the State of Nevada at a 2014 State Environmental Commission meeting, the group anticipates moving forward with reviewing the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) set in place on the lower Truckee River.
    Limnotech has been working to calibrate the Watershed and Water Quality models, and we have documents - both technical documents and powerpoint presentations - available for public review. Please refer to categories below to understand the process underway.

  • Virginia Lake is an urban amenity of 28.5 acres and approximately one mile in circumference, with depths varying from 4-12 feet. Gulls and cormorants have rookeries on the island in the lake, along with other popular resident and migratory waterfowl including canadian geese, ducks, and the lakeside pigeon populations. Recreation at this city park includes active and passive recreation; walking, running, fishing, and birdwatching. The lake has an historic urban fishery enjoyed by residents and visitors, which is supported by trout fish stocking through the Nevada Division of Wildlife.

    The flows and watershed:

Routine Monitoring

  • The City of Reno and the City of Sparks cooperatively monitored water quality on Chalk Creek for two years. An instream sonde probe meter collected WQ parameters including flow every 15 minutes starting from 3/21/07 while weekly grab samples were collected and analyzed for constituents at the TMWRF lab.

  • The Desert Research Institute (DRI), Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility (TMWRF), and Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) joined forces in 2011, and with help from the Truckee River Fund, cooperatively shaped a monitoring program on the Truckee River. This project is designed to maintain robust historic datasets, cooperatively use resources, and better study the Truckee River as a joint effort.
    Data collected for TMWRF sites is listed on the TMWRF data pages for the three data types, see links below.
    Data collected for NDEP sites is listed on the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection's Stored data system, see links below.
    Further Data collected along the mainstem Truckee River to assist with the effects of storm water on the river's water quality will be posted to this page as quickly as possible. For Questions, please call Alan McKay at DRI.

  • The NDEP Truckee River Monitoring project is sampled and tested by Desert Research Institute. The same methods have been used for the last 20 years. The Analytical Procedures table referenced the EPA methods. The Methods Summary attachment describes both EPA and Standard Methods (SM). The EPA and SM methods listed for each parameter are essentially equivalent from an analytical chemistry prospective, but the EPA versions include specific QA procedures. The EPA methods reference the SM methods (and sometimes vice versa).

    Sampling sites can be viewed on the maps in the Maps and GIS section or at the website below. It may be a little hard to read the Site ID's on the Routine. We are no longer using the word Routine to describe the monthly sampling sites, but are now calling them Long Term sites. In the misc part we have two types of sites, short term and special studies.

  • Bioassessment Monitoring in Surface Waters of the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation

    The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe monitors for benthic macroinvertebrates in tributaries feeding into Pyramid Lake and the lower Truckee River. Benthic communities are instream for many months and even years, and have varying sensitivities to pollutants which may run off land or be discharged to the waterways. Standardization is key to ensure non-biased sampling and sample handling, as well as data analysis. Attachments include all standard operating procedures and quality assurance protection plans as approved by EPA, Region IX. Any questions or comments on these methods or QA/QC may be directed to John Mosely, Environmental Director for PLPT.

  • The Tahoe-Truckee Sanitation Agency, or TTSA, is committed to a policy of energy and natural resource conservation. Our goal is to discharge the treated wastewater in the Truckee River Corridor in such a manner as to retain the integrity of ground and surface waters, while ensuring the quantity of water downstream is not diminished.

    The following datasets are site specific data providing biological and chemical concentrations along the Truckee River.

  • The City of Reno, Washoe County, and City of Sparks share a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) discharge permit for the Truckee Meadows region. These three entities also have an Interlocal Agreement for watershed protection throughout the region. City of Reno acts as coordinator and administrator for the Truckee Meadows Regional Storm Water Permit Coordinating Committee, which has been dubbed the "Truckee Meadows Watershed Committee" (TMWC). On the Data Collection Sites map, data points are called out as the responsibility of the Truckee Meadows Watershed Committee.

    The TMWC meets monthly, and monitors surface water quality in streams throughout the region quarterly per the Sample Analysis Plan. Storm events are monitored annually, to better understand water quality effects of urbanization and monitor first flush of pollutants leaving the land surfaces. See SAPs attached below.

  • The objectives of this Truckee River Coordinated Monitoring Program effort are to:

  • Washoe County monitors water quality in South Reno at multiple points along White's Creek and its associated branches, one location on Galena Creek and one on Steamboat Ditch. Several water quality parameters are measured in the field including dissolved oxygen, temperature, conductivity, and pH. Factors such as turbidity, TOC and total coliforms & E.coli bacteria are also monitored.

  • 2015 Tributary Assessment, by CDM Smith. Just updated!
    Historical Documents:
    2002: Watershed Assessment for Tributaries to the Truckee River. This document was prepared by Mike Widmer, WCDWR and Sue Donaldson, UNCE and Jeff Jesch, WSCD. Funded by the Regional Water Planning Commission. (july 2002)
    2003: Appendix to the Watershed Assessment for Tribs to the Truckee River. Funded by the Regional Water Planning Commission. (july 2002)
    2003: Watershed Management and Protection Plan for Tributaries to the Truckee River. This was created by DWR, UNCE, WSCD. Funded by the Regional Water Planning Commission. (may 2003)


  • This project was funded by the Truckee River Fund to map and treat weeds along the Truckee River. It is also part of a coordinated effort in the region organized by the Truckee Meadows Weed Coordinating Group (a cooperative weed management group that was formed in 2003 to help state, federal and local agencies address invasive species issues).

  • The pilot project will restore approximately 1 mile of channel by raising the bottom and narrowing the width from roughly 200 to 120 feet. Before being straightened in 1962 as part of a flood control project, the channel at McCarran Ranch averaged 75 feet in width. As a result of the alterations in 1962 the channel has entrenched downward by roughly 3 feet, causing groundwater to drop beyond the reach of river-side vegetation. The restored channel will reconnect the river to the floodplain. The pilot will also create rearing ponds for threatened Western Pond Turtles and Leopard Frogs. Two wetland areas will be constructed and over 15 acres of floodplain will be revegetate with native willow, cottonwood and other plants.