TCID explains water outlook | NevadaAppeal.com

TCID explains water outlook

Steve Puterski
sputerski@lahontanvalleynews.com

At least it's not 1992.

That was about the only bright spot for the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District's Board of Directors on Monday at their annual water users meeting at the Churchill County Commissioner Chambers.

The board will convene Thursday in Fernley at City Hall for members of the Truckee Division.

In 1992, project users were allocated 28 percent, which was referenced on several occasions as the district explained to water right holders the situation facing the Newlands Project this season. TCID set a 40-percent allocation at its March 7 meeting and told the more than 50 people in attendance a watchful eye will be kept on current water conditions.

As a result of the drought, the board also scheduled a cut-off date to the season on July 31 or when Lahontan Reservoir reaches 8,000 acre-feet, whichever comes first. Monday was also the first day the district allowed orders, which totaled 260 acre-feet, according to Deputy Project Manager Walt Winder.

"We have a challenging year ahead of us," TCID Project Manager Rusty Jardine said. "We will review the allocation for the season at each meeting. We will also review the Floristan rates."

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The drought causing concern throughout the Lahontan Valley will also affect TCID's ability to generate revenue through hydroelectric power. The district owns three generators — two at Lahontan Reservoir and one at 26-foot Drop.

Treasurer Lester de Braga said the district receives about $1.5 million from hydroelectric power in an average year. This year, however, the district expects about $750,000.

"We are going to be hurt a bit," Jardine added. "We will have about half that."

With the added stress of a short season, the district laid out plans to increase efficiency throughout the project.

TCID Scheduler Kelly Herwick will assume control over deliveries and manage a team assigned to ensure each water user receives orders in a timely manner.

He said depending on the crops, many users can be set on the same schedule. Herwick also urged users to order water to create better timing to coordinate the first irrigation.

"My main concern is efficiency and water conservation," Herwick said. "I ask for as much notice as possible, a week or longer."

Another hot topic was the issue of temporary transfers this season. Users may apply to the Nevada Division of Water Resources for a transfer, which allows a user to increase their allocation.

The catch, however, is the district cannot guarantee a user will receive extra water.

The filing fee is $180, $300 for permit fees plus $3 per acre-foot with a cap of $750. In addition, Mike Randall of the Nevada Division of Resources said the applications will be fast tracked and advised users to attach a note to an application informing his office of the transfer to avoid any delays in the application process.

In other TCID news —

No opposition filed to run for the board of directors. As a result, Ernie Schank, de Braga, Eric Olsen and Wade Workman will be duly elected during the April 7 meeting.

Mike Adams, TCID's system's and technology manager, reported the district was awarded a $103,506 grant last year for automated structures throughout the project.

He said it will save TCID about 3,445 acre-feet of water per year. Two structures — the VC-3 and VC-6, are near completion and four more — the VC-4, 5, 7 and 8 — are slated for completion in the fall.

Adams also reported the district's database will improve the efficiency, accuracy and reporting of water levels and deliveries and will be deployed this season. In addition, water users can submit orders online on the district's website (www.tcid.org) and view the near real-time status of the schedule and delivery.

For information about the water season, contact TCID at 775-423-2141 or visit their website. For information about water transfers, call the Nevada Division of Water Resources at 775-684-2800 or visit the website at http://water.nv.gov/.

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