Both the Carson and Truckee divisions are near or at 100%
Not all is bad news in the Lahontan Valley because of the
The Truckee Carson Irrigation District reports another good
water year for the area’s ranchers and farmers because of the improved snowpack
in the Sierra Nevada and storage at Lahontan Reservoir.
“We’re an essential service,” said Rusty Jardine, TCID’s
general manager. “We have people at work, people in the field, and we’ll keep
TCID, though has suspended public meetings until further
Jardine said the Truckee Division has 100% of its water for
2020, and that will help the water users in the Fernley area. For the first
time in almost a decade, Jardine said TCID is able to transfer water from the
Fernley area to the reservoir via the Truckee Canal.
“We haven’t had the need to send it over before now,”
Before the wet years of the last three seasons, Jardine said
the drought prevented any transfer of water from Fernley to the reservoir, and
there was no need from 2017-2019 because of the abundance of water. Lahontan
Reservoir has more than 192,000 acre-feet of water compared to 206,500
acre-feet at the same time in 2019 and 263,332 acre-feet in 2018.
The Carson Division is at 95%, but the snowpack for the
Carson River Basin isn’t at the same level as the Truckee River Basin. Jardine
said the winter storms several weeks ago helped the snowpack.
Jeff Anderson, water supply specialist for the Natural
Resources Conservation Service (NCRS) in Nevada, said the snowstorms added 13%
to the snowpack.
“To gain back that amount this time of year is really hard,”
At the end of the snowstorm, the Mount Rose Snotel site was
The snowpack started the weekend at 43% at the Mount Rose
Snotel site and was at 56% at the end of the storm.
Before this storm, Anderson said the snowline at Lake Tahoe was
inching upward rapidly
“The snowpack was melting rapidly, even at the higher
levels,” Anderson said. “This storm has really pushed that back for a while.”
A series of smaller storms since mid-March also has helped
Snowpack percentages in the Sierra range are below normal
and down anywhere from 35-45%, while the Northern Nevada ranges in Elko and
Humboldt counties are near or slightly above normal.
The NCRS office in Reno said there will be no Snotel site
measurements in April.
The U.S. Drought Monitor shows most of Nevada — except for
the northeast and southern parts — at moderate drought to abnormally dry before
the last storm to sweep through the area.