Updated Dec. 7, 2008
Submitted by Truckee-Carson Irrigation District to Lahontan Valley News
As of December 7, storage in Lahontan Reservoir was 27,352 acre-feet. Storage in Lahontan is expected to increase to about 37,200 acre-feet by the end of December.
The maximum Truckee Canal diversion allowed by the Bureau of Reclamation is 350 cfs, which is more than what is available of the Floriston Rates water that arrives at Derby Dam. For December the reduced Floriston Rate is 300 cfs, because Lake Tahoe is below elevation 6225.25.
On November 22 the Truckee Meadows Water Authority requested a further reduction in the Floriston Rates to 160 cfs pursuant to a supposedly never before used provision in the Truckee River Agreement. This provision allows Sierra Pacific to reduce Reduced Floriston Rates during the non-irrigation season not to exceed 6,000 acre-feet since the signing of the Truckee River Agreement in 1935. The Federal Water Master is not aware of this provision being used before.
The reasoning given by TMWA was that Floriston Rate water in Boca would be exhausted by about December 8. This change would extend the release of Floriston Rate water until about January 8.
Later, on December 5, TMWA requested Reduced Floriston Rates be increased from 160 cfs to 200 cfs. The reason given for this was to avoid increasing releases when the 6,000 acre-feet was reached and then reducing the releases after all Floriston Rates was exhausted.
From the KRNV website: describing our watershed. Click on website for gaging sites & real-time data. Truckee Meadows is a bowl-shaped valley, approximately 10 miles wide and 16 miles long, containing the cities of Reno and Sparks with a combined urban population of approximately 280,000 persons. The Truckee Meadows also includes Pleasant Valley and Washoe Valley to the south, the latter valley containing Washoe Lake and Little Washoe Lake. Both these valleys are drained by Steamboat Creek, which then runs along the eastern portion of the Truckee Meadows and empties into the Truckee River near Vista and the beginning of the lower Truckee River canyon. Along the way, Steamboat Creek picks up the return flows of numerous irrigation ditches to the south of the Truckee River, the most important being Steamboat Ditch, Last Chance Ditch, and Lake Ditch, as well as the Boynton Slough. The Boynton Slough is the recipient of some of these other ditches' return-flow waters as well. Steamboat Creek also receives the treated effluent from the Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility (formerly the Reno-Sparks joint sewage treatment plant).
The eastern part of the Truckee Meadows was a vast marshy wetland prior to development of the area, and remnants of low-lying areas are still farmed today. Loss of this wetland area has exacerbated flooding in the Sparks industrial area.The Truckee Meadows urban area is the largest user of municipal and industrial water from the Truckee River. While municipal and industrial water use (withdrawals) in the Truckee Meadows total approximately 65,000 acre-feet per year, nearly three times this amount (172,383 acre-feet per year, 1973-1994) is diverted out of the lower Truckee River Basin at Derby Dam and into the Truckee Canal for agricultural use in the Newlands Project in the lower Carson River Basin.
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Runoff in area streams and rivers has peaked, and Lake Tahoe probably won't rise more than another inch or so before it starts dropping in the summer heat, experts said Friday.
That spate of high heat that broke many records a week ago quickly melted the snowpack, causing streams to rise and the Truckee River to turn a muddy brown. Highs in Reno exceeded 90 degrees four consecutive days, ending Monday.
"It pretty much came off in one big flush," said Dan Greenlee, a hydrologist with the National Resource Conservation Service in Reno. "I think we've peaked. Once it warms back up again if it doesn't come back up, we'll know for sure."
Chad Blanchard, chief deputy of the Federal Water Master's Office in Reno, agreed that this year's runoff has hit its peak and will be on a diminishing trend. Natural runoff of the Truckee River peaked May 17 while the Carson River peaked the next day, Blanchard said.
On Friday, Lake Tahoe's level was measured at 6,225.39 feet. While thunderstorms forecast through the weekend could change things if they produce sufficient rain, Blanchard said he doesn't expect Tahoe's level to rise more than an inch or two beyond current levels.
Sites are located in these Truckee Meadows waterways: Whites- upper & lower, Thomas-upper & lower, Steamboat Creek and North Truckee Drain. Samples are taken quarterly by agency staff from the Monitoring Subcommittee and analyzed at the TMWRF lab. Values less than the reporting limits are non-zero estimated values to simplify mathematical manipulation of the data. Minimum Test Reporting Limits (mg/l) are: Total-P 0.01, NH3-N 0.02, NO3-N + NO2-N 0.005, TKN 0.1, TSS 2, TDS 2 Analytical Method: DO, pH, Temp, Electrical Conductivity, NO3-N, TKN, Total N, Flow, Total P, TDS, TSS
The U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) mission is to provide reliable scientific information about the Nation’s natural resources. An integral part of that mission is to provide consistent, long-term water-resources data to customers, cooperators, and the public. To accomplish our mission, we operate a widespread surface- and ground-water data collection network as well as research a wide range of scientific issues throughout Nevada.