See the Displays from Smart About Water Day 2024

Welcome to
Smart About Water

A place to understand approaches to water-resource management in the Truckee Meadows.

Smart About Water
Truckee River flowing from Stampede Reservoir across the CA/NV State Line

Get the Most from Your Summertime Outdoor Watering

Maintain good conservation habits while meeting your landscaping needs

During the summer, demand on the drinking water system in the Truckee Meadows can increase by 400%. Outdoor watering is the primary reason for this increase, and the following three conservation actions you can take will help keep waste to a minimum:

1. Landscape Wisely.

Choose to landscape with plants and trees that are well-suited for our high-desert environment and can tolerate drought.

2. Follow Assigned Day Watering.

Since the mid-1980s, this is a mandatory watering schedule for Truckee Meadows Water Authority (TMWA) customers. While this approach significantly reduces overwatering in our community, It also prevents everyone running from sprinklers at the same time!

 3. Prevent Runoff.

A steady stream of water flowing off landscapes and onto hard surfaces may not only wash contaminants into the river but can also unnecessarily drive up your water bill. Dial your system in with the ‘water and wait’ method, which helps you make sure your lawn gets only the water it needs.

Read more about TMWA’S approach to conservation and learn about the region’s robust and redundant water system at tmwa.com/wrp2020. If you want to know how this winter contributed to our region’s drinking water supply outlook, see TMWA’s Senior Hydrologist explain it in this video.

Truckee River and Tahoe Basins: Daily Water Update

Daily SNOTEL Basin Index

Year-to-date indexes represent % of normal snow water equivalent compared to median value on this day for the 1981-2010 period.

This provisional data is provided from the California/Nevada SNOTEL Snow/Precipitation Update Report by the Natural Resources Conversation Service, and is subject to revision. Null percentages mean there is no measurable snowpack on that day.

Current Truckee River Flow

A key location where Truckee River flows are measured (in cubic feet per second or cfs) is near the California-Nevada state line, at the USGS Farad gaging station. This is the gaging station where required rates of flow are measured.

From March through September the required rate of flow is set for 500 cfs, and between October and February required rate of flow is 400 cfs. Flow rates are managed by the Federal Water Master and all data is provided by the United States Geological Survey.

For responsible recreational enthusiasts who monitor these flows, this map outlines all access points, features, diversions and portage options along the Truckee River from Truckee, CA to Tracy, NV.

Upstream Water Storage

Volume of water is measured in Acre Feet (AF). While many stakeholders also store water upstream, information shown here only reflects the upstream reserves held by Truckee Meadows Water Authority.

Water stored by TMWA is updated daily:

Boca Reservoir800 Acre Feet
Donner Lake*8,991 Acre Feet
Independence Lake*17,305 Acre Feet
Prosser Reservoir0 Acre Feet
Stampede Reservoir12,237 Acre Feet
Lake Tahoe0 Acre Feet

*TMWA owns 100% of the storage at both Donner and Independence Lakes.

Current Lake Tahoe Level

The Dam at Tahoe City controls the amount of water released into the Truckee River. It can retain 6.1 feet of Lake Tahoe, or at maximum 744,600 acre feet of water. This maximum volume is met when water behind the dam reaches an elevation of 6229.10 feet.

Water Treatment Plant Production

Water from the Truckee Meadows is treated at two locations: the Chalk Bluff Treatment Plant in northwest Reno and the Glendale Water Treatment Plant in Sparks. Treatment plant output varies by season, as peak summertime customer demand can be as much as 4 times typical wintertime customer demand.

Many residents in the region are also served by groundwater wells.

Hydroelectric Production

The Truckee River is an excellent source of hydroelectric power. In fact, Fleish, Verdi and Washoe hydroelectric power plants produce an average of 50,000 kWh per year. This clean energy offsets the operational power costs for Truckee Meadows Water Authority and is a key contributing factor for keeping water rates as low as possible for customers. Benefits to the environment are sizable as well. Every day that the hydroelectric plants run at full capacity, over 90,500 pounds of CO2 emissions are effectively eliminated from our atmosphere.

Participate and Learn

May

Ribbon Cutting: One Truckee River Demonstration Garden

Tuesday, May 21st 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Lake Park, 40 Coleman Drive

Join One Truckee River for a ribbon cutting and walking tour of a new River-Friendly Living Demonstration at Lake Park. It is a free and family-friendly event. The tour will feature ways to improve home landscaping designs and plants to prevent wasteful water run-off. For more information, visit onetruckeeriver.org.

Irrigation Workshop - Drip System Maintenance Made Easy

Thursday, May 23 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, May 29 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Attendees will be introduced to the basic concepts of operating, maintaining and repairing a typical residential drip system. Attendees under 18 must be accompanies by an adult.

Both workshops will be held at 1355 Capital Blvd in Reno. Please rsvp by email or call 775-834-8290.

Understand Your Drinking Water-- From Tahoe to Tap!

Wednesday, May 8th 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Glendale Water Treatment Plant, 1205 South 21st St in Sparks

Come ready to learn how water flowing from Lake Tahoe becomes high quality drinking water for over 440,000 people in the Reno/Sparks area. Includes walking up stairs and uneven surfaces. Space is limited, so please rsvp or call 775-834-8290. All attendees will be required to sign a liability waiver. Those under 18 years of age can attend, but must be accompanied by an adult.

Smart About Water Day is Saturday May 4th!

10 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

McKinley Arts and Culture Center, 925 Riverside Drive in Reno

Get all your questions about water answered by water experts in our community. From long-term water planning with ways to conserve water this summer, the event is a family friendly event with interactive exhibits, food trucks and informative presentations including a Water Supply Outlook that will give you insight into what this past winter means for our drinking water supply.

Partners

Truckee Meadows Water Authority (TMWA)
City of Reno
Washoe County
City of Sparks