Welcome to
Smart About Water

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

See How TMWA Plans for the Future.

Every five years, Truckee Meadows Water Authority updates its Water Resource Plan to help effectively guide water resource management for our community. The plan analyzes impacts of economic, hydrologic and climate conditions on water supply to ensure the region has sufficient resources to meet our future water needs. TMWA welcomes public review of the plan and has addressed related comments and questions in the plan Q&As.

Truckee River and Tahoe Basins: Daily Water Update

SNOTEL Basin Index

Year-to-date indexes represent % of normal. Percentage of normal is based on the same-day median calculated from 1981-2010.

During winter, "snow water equivalent" information is also provided when snow depth is measurable.

Seasonal Snow Water Index (updated from November to May)
Lake Tahoe Basin52 %
Truckee River Basin59 %

This provisional data is provided by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and final data may change slightly. Year-to-date data resets each year on October 1.

Current Truckee River Flow

The Truckee River flow rate is determined through measurement of cubic feet per second (cfs) at the California-Nevada stateline, which is known as the Floriston Rate.

From March 1 to September 31 the Floriston Rate is set for 500 cfs; then from October 1-February 28 , the regulated rate is 400 cfs. During dry seasons, the Floriston Rate can be reduced to lower cfs levels when Lake Tahoe levels dip below 6,226.0. Flow rates are managed by the Federal Water Master. All data is provided by the United States Geological Survey, in cooperation with the US Bureau of Reclamation.

For recreational enthusiasts, 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 by 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 Reservoir603 Acre Feet
Donner Lake*5,875 Acre Feet
Independence Lake*10,860 Acre Feet
Prosser Reservoir0 Acre Feet
Stampede Reservoir11,137 Acre Feet
Lake Tahoe7,257 Acre Feet

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

Current Lake Tahoe Level

Lake Tahoe Dam at Tahoe City controls the top 6.1 feet of Lake Tahoe. The dam gates help regulate the water that enters into the Truckee River. With the natural rim of the lake at 6,223.0 ft above sea level, the highest water level that can be held back by the dam is 6,229.1 ft. When at the highest limit, Tahoe’s large surface creates a reservoir with 744,600 acre feet capacity. Lake Tahoe Dam is a 17-gate concrete slab and buttress structure that was completed in 1913 and then modified by the Bureau of Reclamation in 1987.

Water Treatment Plant Production

Water treatment in the Truckee Meadows takes place at two locations: Chalk Bluff Treatment Plant in northwest Reno and downstream at Glendale Treatment Plant which is put online to help meet higher demands in the summer. Both are owned by Truckee Meadows Water Authority. Water Treatment Plant production to serve TWMA customers varies by season, as represented by these typical averages:

Winter (Jan-Mar)34 MGD
Spring (Apr-Jun)75 MGD
Summer (Jul-Sep)94 MGD
Fall (Oct - Dec)39 MGD

Many residents in the region are also served by groundwater wells, which are not represented in the numbers above.

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 greatly 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

Coming Events

Community gatherings to learn, protect or celebrate water in our region.

Coming Tours

Visit different locations and facilities that are a part of the region's watershed or water management infrastructure.

Ongoing Workshops

Providing interactive and hands-on learning experiences to ‘do-it-yourself’.

Partners

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