Welcome to
Smart About Water

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

It's Time To Winterize Your Home!

Each winter brings the challenge of protecting your home from potential water damage caused by freezing pipes. Fortunately, there are some easy steps you can take, BEFORE this type of weather sets in, that can lower the risk of burst plumbing.


Landscape irrigation systems should be turned off and drained by the end of October (usually) and it's pretty easy to do. Here is a short tutorial to help walk you through the process in less than four minutes. When you are done with your sprinklers, don't forget to disconnect your hoses from their spigots, so water can drain. Also remember to drain all the water from hoses too, so you can use them if needed.


Pipes are most likely to freeze in unheated interior areas like attics, basements, garages, and crawl spaces. Also, pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation can be subject to freezing as well.

Closing vents and sealing exterior cracks can help insulate interior spaces, as can wrapping water pipes with appropriate pipe-wrapping materials that can be purchased at hardware and building supply stores.

Read here for more tips on how to winterize your home before cold weather sets-in and protect your property from unexpected damage and expensive repairs.

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 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 Reservoir10,248 Acre Feet
Donner Lake*2,985 Acre Feet
Independence Lake*14,486 Acre Feet
Prosser Reservoir0 Acre Feet
Stampede Reservoir13,113 Acre Feet
Lake Tahoe5,228 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

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’.


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