Irrigation district raises annual water allocation |

Irrigation district raises annual water allocation

Christy Lattin
Nevada Appeal News Service

FALLON – Water allocations have been raised for this water season, but a planned hike in the District General Assessment won’t take place for another year.

The Truckee-Carson Irrigation District board of directors raised the annual water allocation from 80 percent to 90 percent at Monday’s meeting.

The Water Supply Conditions report on TCID’s Web site states projected releases from Lahontan Reservoir for this water season is 250,100 acre-feet, which is 94 percent of a full supply.

Normal releases for a full supply are about 266,100 acre-feet, the report states.

Kate Rutan, office manager, said Project Manager Dave Overvold felt a 90 percent allocation was conservative.

Adjustments were made in the district’s computer system, and users will see the change on their next water card.

The Truckee Canal Safety Commission met in Fernley June 4 to discuss a change to the District General Assessment limit of $1.50 per acre or home lot. The tax is placed on all land and homes in the Newlands Irrigation Project, which includes a majority of Fernley and the Lahontan Valley.

Assembly Bill 226, which allows irrigation districts to carry debt up to $500,000 and to assess residents up to $5 per acre, was signed by Gov. Jim Gibbons May 6 and will take effect July 1.

Rutan said the commission approved increasing the tax to $3; however, it cannot be applied to this year’s property taxes because the information was needed by the Lyon and Churchill counties assessors by May 15. Rutan said the tax will be effective July 2010.

Funds from the District General Assessment will be used to pay for major upgrades to the Truckee Canal in Fernley. Rutan said the delayed tax increase won’t affect the canal upgrade because TCID is awaiting results from Bureau of Reclamation studies. She said BOR will do soil testing on the canal in September followed by engineering to be paid for by TCID. Rutan said the district is unsure if the engineering cost is reimbursable.

The safety commission also approved using District General funds to pay for rodent control on the Truckee Canal. TCID has used Critter Control since June of last year for rodent control. Rutan said the district did not have an organized rodent control plan prior to the canal’s breach in January 2008; however, BOR required TCID to establish a program in order to resume flows in the Truckee Canal.