Welcome to
Smart About Water

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

Water Conservation Matters!

Did you know that during the summer, we use about 4x more water than we do in the winter?

Conservation, especially during the summertime, matters.

For over four decades, our community has embraced a strong conservation ethic, and it makes a big difference. For example, customers of Truckee Meadows Water Authority (TMWA) use approximately 30% less water today than they did 15 years ago!

That's partially due to programs like Assigned-Day Watering, which is in full swing this summer. If you are looking for other ways to use water wisely, check out our Conservation Matters page for:

  • Information about landscaping in the Truckee Meadows, where you can find the best trees and plants for our semi-arid region.
  • The "Water and Wait" test to determine how long you need to run sprinklers, without watering too little or too much.
  • And reminders on Assigned-Day Watering, with sprinkler use guidance that varies according to your address.

As we move into the hottest days of the summer everyone can help to prevent water loss through evaporation by keeping sprinklers off between 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. And don't forget to give our water system a day of rest on Mondays!

Download a Reminder

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 Reservoir13,542 Acre Feet
Donner Lake*5,195 Acre Feet
Independence Lake*12,956 Acre Feet
Prosser Reservoir395 Acre Feet
Stampede Reservoir9,551 Acre Feet
Lake Tahoe5,975 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