TMWA Asks Customers to Reduce Outdoor Water Use - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

TMWA Asks Customers to Reduce Outdoor Water Use

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Truckee Meadows Water Authority is asking its customers to cut back on outdoor water use starting late next month, and not water between the hours of 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

The agency is asking customers to cut outdoor use by 10% at the end of July, although an exact date hasn't yet been announced.

"We're targeting outdoor usage because that's when most of the usage is," John Erwin, TMWA Director of Natural Resources said. "Folks are very good inside. Inside water use doesn't change, month-to-month, day-to-day."

Because of our recent dry winter, TMWA says it will use upstream reserves to supplement low river flows and groundwater reserves to meet demands. It says late July is the time when customers can make a difference by conserving water, which will reduce the amount of drought reserves TMWA needs to release. It says TMWA's drought supply reservoirs - Donner and Independence Lakes - are currently full.

"The system's designed to do this," Erwin said. "We have these reserves up-stream. We also have additional ground water that we'll be exercising pulling out as well."

The entire state of Nevada is in a drought, with exceptional drought stretching from Lander County to the California border. "The reservoirs continue to decrease," Jeff Anderson, Water Supply Specialist for National Resources Conservation Service said. "The in-flows to the streams during the summer continue to get lower and lower, and soils dry out."

The exceptional drought is an accumulation of three years without adequate precipitation. That leads to increased fire danger and hampers agriculture.

"Rangelands are drying out," Anderson said. "There's not as good of crop for feed for the cows and for farmers, as well. Their water supplies get shorter and shorter."

Despite the drought, officials say area wells are consistently full. But those will likely begin to drop, as we head into the hotter summer months.

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