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Integrated watershed management on the Truckee River in Nevada

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Cobourn, J.


Journal of the American Water Resources Association, Volume 35, Issue 3, p.623-632 (1999)


The Truckee River is a vitally important water source for eastern California and western Nevada. It runs 100 miles from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake in the Nevada desert and serves urban populations in greater Reno-Sparks and agricultural users in three Nevada counties. In the 1980s and 1990s, a number of state and focal groups initiated projects which, taken collectively have accomplished much to improve watershed management on the Truckee River. However, the task of writing a management plan for the entire watershed has not yet been undertaken. Key players in state, federal and local government agencies have instead chosen to focus specific improvement efforts on more manageable, achievable goals. The projects currently underway include a new agreement on reservoir operation, restoration of high priority sub-watersheds, public education and involvement, water conservation education, and water resource planning for the major urban population centers. The approach which has been adopted on the Truckee River continues to evolve as more and more people take an interest in the river's future. The many positive projects underway on the watershed are evaluated in terms of how well they meet the definition of the ambitious water resources strategy, "integrated watershed management."