As a result of the extraordinary snow-pack remaining in the Carson River watershed, combined with the above-average rainfall this season in the Fallon area and resulting in a reduction of demand from water in storage at Lahontan Reservoir, the Truckee Carson Irrigation District said precautionary releases of water are again being made from Lahontan Dam and will continue until further notice.
General manager Rusty Jardine said such releases are intended to provide needed storage space for the anticipated run-off.
Accordingly, he said residents along the Carson River will see an increase in both river flow and the surface level in the river channel. At its peak, the river flow is not expected to be no more than one half of that which was had at the highest point in 2017.
Presently, Jardine said the amount of water in storage at Lahontan Reservoir is about 279,600 acre-feet. Current operation forbids storage on the flash boards before the Carson River has peaked due to snow melt. Water begins storing on the boards when reservoir level reaches approximately 287,000 acre-feet.
“We do not foresee the need for the release of water through the V-Line Canal emergency weir to the Carson Lake,” he said.
Pursuant to release criteria established in 1997 still in effect, Jardine said water released during a precautionary drawdown is first made available for delivery to all water righted lands within the Newlands Project and is charged against a user’s annual allocation.
In the event that no demand exists by water right holders, he said the water would next be stored in Newlands Project regulating reservoirs at no charge to annual allocations; or, lastly, the water would placed in storage in wetlands of the Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge, Stillwater Wildlife Management Area, Fallon National Wildlife Refuge, the Carson Lake Pasture and March, the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Indian Reservation — at no charge to annual allocations.
Water that is stored in regulating reservoirs, and is later diverted to water users, is charged against a water user’s annual allocation.
For further information contact Kelly Herwick, District Water Master, by telephone, at 775-423-2141.