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Monday, April 15, 2024 at 9:46 AM

Good News for TCID Water Users: 100% Allocations Ahead

Positive Projections for the Water Season, No Spread Water Currently Planned
Good News for TCID Water Users: 100% Allocations Ahead
Images from NASA satellites show that on January 1, snow was largely present at the highest elevations between Lake Tahoe and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park in the Southern Sierra. Images courtesy of UC Central Snow Lab at Donner Summit.

In the recent Truckee Carson Irrigation District (TCID) board meeting held on March 12, 2024, board members discussed water management and projections for the upcoming irrigation season. 

Dan Lahde with the Bureau of Reclamation Lahontan Basin Area Office presented an in-depth analysis of historical snow data alongside projections for the current year. He reported that snow levels in the Sierra are above average, largely thanks to large-scale storms hitting the Sierra after the new year. 

Snow levels rose dramatically after the epic snowstorm in February, which increased snow levels from 31 inches on January 1 to 167 inches by February 11, according to the UC Central Snow Lab at Donner Summit. That same storm delivered similar amounts of snow south along the Sierra, a portion of which will melt directly into the Carson River and feed into the Lahontan Reservoir. 

According to Lahde, prior to February 1, the Sierra snowpack was estimated well below average. “Prior to February 1, the Carson River was at 50% of median, and the Truckee was at 49%,” said Lahde. “After, we’re at 106% of average [the Carson River region] and 101% in the Truckee region.” This rise, according to the BOR, was primarily attributed to a series of cold storms, resulting in minimal snowmelt and continuing cooler temperatures. 

Lahde reviewed the short- and long-term weather projections. Despite the potential for seasonal atmospheric rivers bringing heavy rains, no substantial weather is expected over the next 30 days. However, warmer temperatures are predicted, increasing the rate of snowmelt feeding into the Truckee and Carson Rivers. 

Water inflow at Ft. Churchill is recorded at approximately 437 cubic feet per second (cfs), contributing to a reservoir level of around 260,741 acre-feet. Water availability throughout the season projects 100% water allocation for area water users. 

“So, we’ve got maybe 27,000 acre-feet of inflow still to come in March,” Lahde explained, “with April jumping up to somewhere around 40,000 acre-feet of inflow, and then May 50,000 or something like that, and then dropping off in June and July.” According to Lahde, the district can handle this quite easily as long as there are no significant rain-on-snow events in the interim. 

The BOR expressed the importance of continued monitoring of water levels as snow begins to melt and the potential need for precautionary drawdowns. While no drawdowns are currently underway, statistics indicate a 62% likelihood of such releases occurring at some point during the water year. No spread water releases are expected at this time. 

TCID reported that crews are continuing with spring maintenance projects and structural repairs. Additionally, crews are burning ditches and working on tree and shrub removal, with operations focused on the improvement of the valley’s irrigation infrastructure. 

The Fernley Truckee Canal repair continues amidst concerns raised by the City of Fernley. Several factors potentially impacting the project and areas surrounding the canal were discussed, including encroachments from development, traffic considerations, and regulatory requirements. According to a TCID official, the City of Fernley proposed a Memorandum of Agreement with the BOR regarding flood control. TCID General Manager Ben Shawcroft stated that the district is not currently on board with such an MOA. “I see a lot of problems with that. We do have a directive and standards on that,” Shawcroft said, “Community protection is always a big thing, but certainly I don’t want to open up the district to any kind of liability.” Despite these concerns, Shawcroft and TCID agreed to future conversations regarding formulating some kind of agreement pertaining to flood control responsibilities. 





Comment author: Claude EzzellComment text: Paul was one of the most manifest men I have ever met. He was a good friends with my Dad and always had an entertaining story for the occasion. One of my most favorite stories Paul told dated back to the late 60s or early 70s and it revolved around him killing a deer way out in the mountains. Naturally the deer ran down into a deep canyon and died. Knowing that it would take him forever to haul it out he devised an awesome plan. After preparing the deer he drove back to NAS Fallon and rustled up a SAR crew and they flew out and picked up the deer. Of course it was labeled as a training flight but what the hell in those days you could do that sort of thing. Rest in Peace my friend until we meet again!!Comment publication date: 4/11/24, 1:15 PMComment source: Obituary - LCDR Paul N PflimlinComment author: THughesComment text: So sad to hear. Prayers to the Goings family.Comment publication date: 4/5/24, 6:35 PMComment source: Obituary - Bill GoingsComment author: April SmithComment text: I love this beautiful woman and her family so much. Such a pure soul and I had a great pleasure taking care of her while she was at the homestead and being by her side for her last daysComment publication date: 4/2/24, 8:50 PMComment source: Obituary - Frances Elaine (Sanford) Atkinson V Comment author: Veronica BrandenburgComment text: Dee was the nicest lady! I remember her fondly from the days of my youth at Northside Elementary, many years ago. She and Mrs. Rowe were my favorite office ladies! I am so sorry to hear of her passing. My thoughts are with her family.Comment publication date: 4/1/24, 3:26 PMComment source: Obituary - Mary Delda “Dee Hewitt