New Update! Displays from 2023 Smart About Water Day.

Welcome to
Smart About Water

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

Smart About Water

Outdoor Watering by Your Assigned Day Schedule

Our community standard every summer since the mid 1980s!

Landscape watering with assigned-day watering is always in effect. Everyone gets three days a week for outdoor watering. This not only prevents overuse, but also helps smooth out the production and distribution of water during the summertime, when water use normally spikes.

Assigned day watering is assigned according to the last number of your address. Even numbers (0, 2, 4, 6, 8) water on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.  Odd number addresses (1, 3, 5, 7, 9), water on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.  

Please don’t water on Mondays: No watering on this day helps Truckee Meadows Water Authority (TMWA's) water system recharge.

Here are a few other tips for using water wisely this summer:

  • The best times to water your lawn are in the early morning or late evening hours when the ground and air temperatures are cool. Because of evaporation, watering is not allowed during the heat of the day, from noon - 6 p.m. this summer. (Quick fact: In drought years, these hours expand.)
  • If you water your lawn and runoff occurs, cut the time by two-minute increments until runoff stops. This will help establish how many minutes your water cycle should be.
  • It's better to run your spinklers again than to let water run off into the street. For example, running four cycles at 10 minutes each in a day is better than running one cycle at 40 minutes.
  • If you think you might have a leak, here are several helpful tutorials online to help troubleshoot the issue.

Lastly, if run-off is an ongoing issue, you may consider adding mulch or planting beds near the boundaries of your lawns. This can help prevent run-off onto sidewalks and streets, which helps lessen the flow of fertilizers intro drainage systems. It's an important detail, because everything that flows down our gutters and streets, eventually makes its way into the Truckee River which sustains the quality of life for everyone living in between Lake Tahoe and Pyramid Lake.

TMWA Assigned-Day Watering

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 Reservoir190 Acre Feet
Donner Lake*3,057 Acre Feet
Independence Lake*16,480 Acre Feet
Prosser Reservoir0 Acre Feet
Stampede Reservoir11,098 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


Wednesday, May 10th

Tahoe to Tap Workshop - Understanding Your Drinking Water

5:30 p..m. - 7:30 p.m. at the Glendale Water Treatment Plant, 1205 S. 21st St., Sparks

Join drinking water quality experts and learn how Truckee Meadows Water Authority takes alpine water flowing in the Truckee River and processes it to become high-quality drinking water. This workshop includes a tour of Glendale Water Treatment Plant. This event is free, but space is limited. RSVP by emailing or call 775.834.8290. Please note, attendees must be a minimum of 10 years of age.

Thursday, May 25th

Drip System Maintenance Workshop

5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., 1355 Capital Blvd., Reno

Attendees will be introduced to the basic concepts of operating, maintaining and repairing a typical residential drip system. Participants must be at least 10 years of age. RSVP by emailing or call 775.834.8290.

Monday, May 31st

Sprinkler Maintenance Workshop

5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., 1355 Captial Blvd., Reno

Attendees will be introduced to the basic concepts of operating, maintaining and repairing a typical residential Sprinkler system. Participants must be at least 10 years of age. RSVP by emailing or call 775.834.8290.


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