Welcome to
Smart About Water

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

Keep Water Where You Want It

Eliminating run-off is a straight forward way to conserve.

Runoff is water that doesn't soak into the ground, sending water you pay for literally into the gutter. Urban runoff (like sprinkler overspray, home car washing, etc.) moves across solid, non-permable surfaces like sidewalks, streets and driveways. As runoff flows over these surfaces, sediment and pollutants are carried into the watershed. Some ways to prevent runoff are very easy and others might take a little more planning.

START TODAY: If you use sprinklers, water to the correct depth and monitor spray direction.

After a sprinkler cycle runs, water should soak down about 6 inches, or thedepth of a screwdriver into the soil.[link to TMWA video] This encourages a healthy root system, which can help retain water.

If water begins to run off during a sprinkler cycle, stop long enough to allow surface water to fully soak in but not completely dry out. Then repeat this process with sprinkler runs until saturation is reached. Monitor the sessions and adjust the cycle timing until you achieve saturation without runoff.

Adjust Sprinklers

Set it, but don’t forget it!

Adjustable sprinkler heads are very effective, offering more precision for watering your landscape. However, these adjustments can shift with use over time, changing your sprinkler’s direction.

So, check sprinklers regularly throughout the summer and remember to cut back watering times as the temperatures dip in the fall.

THINK ABOUT TOMORROW: Incorporate water bioretention into your landscaping decisions.

Here are some other ways to prevent runoff:

1. Create buffer zones. Slow the movement of water by adding permeable materials in between your landscape and hard surfaces (i.e., sidewalks, driveways, or street gutters). Inexpensive options include mulch, decomposed granite, gravel, or small river rock. See complimentary buffer strip designs here, courtesy of OneTruckeeRiver.

2. Add borders using drought-tolerant plants. In areas where runoff flows, use plants that are suited to our arid climate. This will help absorb water and can filter out pollutants. Get ideas for what to plant in Truckee Meadows Water Authority’sLandscape Guide.

Bioretention

3.Follow best practices.For additional ways to prevent runoff in our community and help protect river water quality, follow Truckee Meadows Regional Stormwater Permitting Committee, to get best practices for residents, businesses and industry.

4. Reach out to experts.Visit the Nevada Extension for more about suggested bioretention strategies or reach out to any of these Qualified Water Efficient Landscapers who have been trained in efficient irrigation principles and sustainable landscaping practices.

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 Reservoir779 Acre Feet
Donner Lake*8,795 Acre Feet
Independence Lake*16,738 Acre Feet
Prosser Reservoir0 Acre Feet
Stampede Reservoir41,461 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

August 2022

Verdi Hydroelectric Power Plant Tour

Wednesday, August 24th from 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.

The public is invited to tour the Verdi Hydroelectric Plan, which has been producing clean, renewable energy for over 100 years. Space is limited, admission is free. Please RSVP by August 22nd at rsvp@tmwa.com.

Chalk Bluff Water Treatment Plant Tour

Tuesday, August 30th from 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

It's that time of the year when TMWA opens up it's award-winning water treatment plant up for public tours! Space is limited, admission is free. Please RSVP by August 26th at rsvp@tmwa.com.

Verdi Hydroelectric Power Plant Tour

Wednesday, August 31st from 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

The public is invited to tour the Verdi Hydroelectric Plan, which has been producing clean, renewable energy for over 100 years. Space is limited, admission is free. Please RSVP by August 22nd at rsvp@tmwa.com.

September 2022

River School Farm & Gardens Walking Tour

Saturday, September 3rd from 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

See methods that can be applied to your landscape to create a beaufiful, functional, and water resilient garden. Bring a sack lunch and enjoy eating togehter along the Truckee River.

Space is limited, admission is free. Attendees must be a minimum of 10 years of age. Please RSVP at rsvp@tmwa.com.

Chalk Bluff Water Treatment Plant Tour

Tuesday, September 6th from 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

It's that time of the year when TMWA opens up it's award-winning water treatment plant up for public tours! Space is limited, admission is free. Please RSVP by August 26th at rsvp@tmwa.com.

Verdi Hydroelectric Power Plant Tour

Saturday, September 10th from 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

The public is invited to tour the Verdi Hydroelectric Plan, which has been producing clean, renewable energy for over 100 years. Space is limited, admission is free. Please RSVP by Septmber 8th at rsvp@tmwa.com.

Chalk Bluff Water Treatment Plant Tour

Tuesday, September 13th from 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

It's that time of the year when TMWA opens up it's award-winning water treatment plant up for public tours! Space is limited, admission is free. Please RSVP by September 9th at rsvp@tmwa.com.

Verdi Hydroelectric Power Plant Tour

Wednesday, September 14th from 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

The public is invited to tour the Verdi Hydroelectric Plan, which has been producing clean, renewable energy for over 100 years. Space is limited, admission is free. Please RSVP by Septmber 12th at rsvp@tmwa.com.

Chalk Bluff Water Treatment Plant Tour

Tuesday, September 20th from 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

It's that time of the year when TMWA opens up it's award-winning water treatment plant up for public tours! Space is limited, admission is free. Please RSVP by September 16th at rsvp@tmwa.com.

October 2022

Northern NevadaScapes Course: Creating Beautiful Low-Water Use Yards

Saturday, Oct. 8, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (lunch will be provided)

Join the UNR Extension and One Truckee River to learn how to create a beautiful and functional yard without breaking the bank on your water bill. Space is limited and cost is $20.

To register go to https://www.onetruckeeriver.org/events.

Partners

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