Ways Washoe County is Conserving Water Ahead of Dry Summer - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Ways Washoe County is Conserving Water Ahead of Dry Summer

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From Washoe County: 

John Erwin, the Truckee Meadows Water Authority's (TMWA) Director of Natural Resources Planning and Management gave the Board of County Commissioners a presentation about the drought and low water supply. He said since Lake Tahoe is below the rim, there is nearly no water coming out of Lake Tahoe which is resulting in very low river flows. He said within the next six weeks all of the ditches will be shut off, starting with the Steamboat Ditch. Erwin said TMWA will be relying more on pump wells this summer.

"We haven't seen four consecutive dry years like this," said Erwin. "2015 is the lowest precipitation and lowest runoff we have seen. The good news is the probability of a wet year is increasing because of all the dry years we have had in a row. We plan for the worst but hope for the best."

Dave Solaro, Director of Washoe County Community Services, updated the Board about the County's plans to conserve water during the drought. Solaro said Washoe County is conserving water in several ways as we enter what is expected to be an extremely dry summer:

    Washoe County has reduced water use by at least ten percent at County buildings and parks.

    Several parks and golf courses are irrigated with treated water or ditch water.

    County Park irrigation has been reduced by at least 10 percent.

    Washoe County has implemented the Truckee Meadows Water Authority's suggestions in their Weather Wise Watering program. 

    The County is watering in the early morning or evening, not watering on windy days or after rain and is watering on assigned watering days.

    Parks instituted a turf reduction program that eliminated nearly 119,000 square feet of turf at Lemmon Valley and Cold Springs Parks.

    The County implemented a phone number to call if you see broken irrigation lines in our parks: (775) 328-2311.

"Washoe County is doing its part in conserving water," said Solaro. "We are working hard to be responsible and reduce the impact during this drought season."

The availability of ditch water from the Truckee River is anticipated to be very minimal this year. With the 10 percent reduction and the lack of available ditch water, the public will likely see brown areas throughout Washoe County parks and golf courses. With the short ditch water season this summer, several of our park ponds may be lower than usual.

In addition, the off-leash and multi-use pasture at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park will be closing due to a lack of irrigation water. The irrigation for the multi-use pasture comes from the Highland Ditch, which is fed from the Truckee River. However, the Federal Water Master has informed Washoe County the Highland Ditch will be shut off in the next couple of weeks because of low water flows in the Truckee River.

Washoe County water play parks like those at Lazy 5 Regional Park and the North Valleys Regional Park plan to open and operate as normal. These parks recycle and recirculate water. The water is captured through a drain system and then filtered and treated much like a pool system. There is minimal water loss through evaporation.

These water parks are great locations for families to use during the hot days of the summer, as a water-saving alternative to filling small pools or turning on sprinklers to run through.

View a list of frequently asked questions about how Washoe County is conserving water.

From Washoe County 
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