The Truckee River is the sole outlet of Lake Tahoe, is 140 mi long in northern California and Nevada, and drains 3,120 square miles of land (on the map below, that's all of the light tan colored land)! It is also filled by many creeks as part of the high Sierra Nevada as it moves through Truckee, Reno, Sparks, and out into the desert, finally emptying into Pyramid Lake.
The Truckee River is one of Nevada’s most significant natural and cultural resources, delivering 80% of all drinking water to residents in the Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County areas, also providing agricultural water from the mountains... AND it's the only significant source of water to Pyramid Lake, a sensitive and valuable "desert terminus lake." The river also provides a rich source of habitat for many species of plants and wildlife. All of our urban streams in the Truckee Meadows region empty into the Truckee, too. Each of us impacts the river directly with our actions! Learn about what we are doing to restore and protect the river:
Chalk Creek subwatershed
Chalk Creek flows from the south face of Peavine Mountain in the Northwest Reno area as two major tributaries: See map. Chalk Creek's flow has become year-around due to urban irrigation, at about 0.5 cubic feet per second (CFS) in the lower reach. Chalk Creek was identified as providing year-around flows and heavy burdens of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Total Dissolved Solids (N, P, and TDS)- three pollutants of concern within the Truckee River system. The City of Reno embarked on watershed studies with the help of the Truckee River Fund, and from our new understanding of this system, has built a small sulfate-reducing wetland on Chalk Creek close to Rainbow Ridge Park, to explore the removal of these pollutants on a pilot scale. Learn more:
- Learn more on You-Tube about Chalk Creek's challenges (03/09).
- View the Community Presentation given to the NW Reno citizens (11/09), to learn to reduce urban pollution and help prevent degradation of the Truckee River.
- View the YouTube on our constructed wetland project (06/10).
- See our new Wetland project interpretive sign, funded by the NW NAB and Truckee River Fund, which will be installed in 2011 onsite.
McKinley Arts & Cultural Center Demonstration LID Project
The City of Reno is pleased to embark upon a Low Impact Development (LID) project during 2009. This project includes rain gutters to capture rainfall from the large rooftop, a rain garden (depressed landscape area), and a pervious concrete parking lot to receive and infiltrate rainwater from the west side of the rooftop. Stormwater running off urban rooftops, parking lots, driveways and other "hardscape" can carry lawn chemicals, petroleum drips from cars, sediment, and other things harmful to organisms in the river. Since rainwater falling on cities runs out into the gutters and into the stormdrain system, which is routed straight to the river, the City is demonstrating a more "bio-friendly" approach to how we handle stormwater of any kind- by installing "softscape" in the urban area. Softscape infiltrates and treats water naturally, preventing "urban slobber." To view more information on pervious concrete, read the latest Reno News & Review article. Two 2010 YouTube videos capture the project well; learn about the parking lot or learn about the rain garden.
Working in the Truckee River and Riparian Areas
Working in the Truckee River requires many permits, protective measures and monitoring. To provide guidance to anyone doing work in or around the river, the Northern Nevada Water Planning Commission funded the development of the Truckee River Restoration and Construction Site Permitting Handbook. Within this document there is a Permitting Process Flowchart. To enhance this resource the City of Reno has also provided a GIS layer within the "Watershed Map Server" that illustrate the Truckee River from the California Nevada border to Pyramid Lake and the agencies that have regulatory authority of various reaches.
Download the Truckee River Restoration and Construction Site Permitting Handbook (Handbook, pdf 17.8mb).
About the Truckee Meadows Watershed Committee
The interlocal agreement between the Cities of Reno and Sparks and Washoe County was updated in 2004. It was concluded that it was appropriate to expand the purview of the Truckee Meadows Storm Water Permit Coordinating Committee to include consideration of watershed management for the benefit of water quality in the Truckee River and tributaries.
Hence, the committee has been dubbed the "Truckee Meadows Watershed Committee". It is recognized that there are numerous regulatory entities and jurisdictional boundaries along the Truckee River. The Committee is striving to establish common goals and approaches. One way of reaching out to all is through education.
|Agencies and Contact Information|
|Carson-Truckee Water Conservancy District||
|City of Reno||775-334-2063|
|City of Sparks||775-353-2340|
|Nevada Department of Wildlife||775-688-1500|
|Nevada Division of Environmental Protection||775-687-9414|
|Nevada Division of State Lands||775-684-2720|
|Nevada Division of Water Resources||775-684-2800|
|Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe||775-574-0101|
|U.S. Army Corps of Engineers||916-557-5100|
|U.S. Fish and Wildlife||775-861-6300|
|Western Regional Water Commission|