TMWA: Area Water Supply Okay for Now - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

TMWA: Area Water Supply Okay for Now

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Washoe County was one of nine Nevada counties included in U.S. Agriculture Department's Natural Disaster Designation for drought Thursday. So, we talked with experts today about their concerns for our municipal and industrial water supplies for both the long run and the short run.

You don't have to look far to see that it's been a pretty low water year. Like other reservoirs in the area, Boca is low.

And while TMWA always encourages its customers to use water wisely, they are a long way from restricting water use. "Conditions hydrologically are not good. But we have a nine years' drought supply. When you add up Boca, Stampede, Independence and the rest and we're just three years in and if we have to, we could handle another six years," says Bill Hauck, TMWA Senior Hydrologist.

Hauck adds that high desert like this is used to wet and dry cycles. So panic over what the summer will bring is a little premature.

You could say he's more of a 'the reservoir is half full...kind of guy.' "We're only halfway through the winter and we could get another big snow. I've seen big snowfalls into May, so I'm not ready to write off this winter just yet."

And while the long term concern is not there, yet, there is some concern for the short run, when it comes to our trees.

"Whenever we have a dry spell like this where we haven't had moisture for weeks at a time it's necessary to water trees and lawn and all of your plants in general," says Steve Packer of Moana Nursery.

He says since we are expecting more days of springlike weather, his advice is to water once it's 40 degrees out or warmer - and turn off the water and drain the system before it has a chance to freeze.

But he says once every two or three weeks should do it. "Here I am...it's winter and I'm in short sleeved shirts, the weather's nice, it's good for us, but not for the plants."

So, wait until it warms up to 40 degrees in the middle of the day - and give those yards and trees a drink. And while agriculture is already struggling, the situation for municipal water and for industry is good.

Written by Erin Breen

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