Recent Storm Helps Water Supply - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Recent Storm Helps Water Supply

Posted: Updated:

The water year started October First and we've already had the equivalent of 11 inches of rain.

Last year, we didn't have that much until late March.

Reservoir water levels along the Truckee River usually don't start to rise until the spring, when the mountain snow melts.

But Lake Tahoe is already up almost six inches because of this latest storm.

"That's a tremendous amount of water," Acting Water Master Chad Blanchard said. "The whole reservoir only stores six feet. So, when you can capture a half-a-foot of water in five days, it goes a long way to helping ensure the next year has a full water supply."

That amount of water could cover 60,000 acres with one foot of water.

That's more than Boca Reservoir can even hold.

"We received roughly what we would in a normal runoff season, in the spring," Blanchard said.

Reservoirs like Boca and Stampede also saw their water levels go up.

The spillways are closed, keeping water from releasing into the Truckee River, which helped prevent flooding in Reno and Sparks.

The flood threat came from unregulated creeks and streams that empty into the river.

"The reservoirs are designed to take the peak off high-flow events and that's exactly what they did," Blanchard said.

The key is holding on to as much water as possible, in the reservoirs, but keeping enough space for flood control.

Because of last year's dry weather, there is plenty of that.

"We're looking very good, as far as the ability to capture another event that comes in but we are building that supply for next year, which is good," Blanchard said.

While the rain and warmer temperatures did melt some snow, experts don't think it will effect the snow pack.

"Some of the lower elevation, shallower snow melted but then it was replaced, quickly, as the snow levels dropped and the rain turned to snow," Blanchard said.

In fact, Blanchard says the equivalent of ten feet of snow fell during this storm.

Pyramid Lake will also rise some, as the Truckee River drains into it.

That will help the fish swim upstream to spawn.

Written by Paul Nelson
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Sarkes Tarzian, Inc. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.