Here is an update of the Status of the Truckee Meadows Water Authority (TMWA) Plan for Groundwater Sustainability on the Mt. Rose Fan on the TMWA website.
Truckee Meadows Water Authority (TMWA) is continuing to work on enhancing the groundwater resources in the Mt. Rose and Galena Fan area. Due to the dependence on groundwater and the continued decline in water levels — aggravated by the ongoing drought — it is necessary to provide supplemental sources of supply for the water systems located on the upper Mt. Rose and Galena fan areas. These water systems include those serving the Arrowcreek, Saddlehorn, Government Lots, Callahan Ranch, Fawn Lane, Montreux, Galena Forest and St. James’s Village neighborhoods. These areas currently rely on groundwater wells for 100 percent of their water supply, and the drought situation has severely limited the amount of natural recharge to local aquifers.
As reported in a letter sent to area residents in July, TMWA is implementing a $7.8 million groundwater sustainability plan for the area. The plan consists of three projects which will deliver limited amounts of treated surface water from the Truckee River to the area to replenish wells:
- Arrowcreek/Mt. Rose Conjunctive-Use Facilities, in service January 2016
- Expanded Conjunctive-Use Facilities/Aquifer Storage and Recovery Program, scheduled to be constructed in 2016-2017
- South Truckee Meadows General Improvement District (STMGID) Conjunctive-Use Facilities, scheduled to be constructed in 2017-2018
These projects will allow TMWA to expand its Aquifer Storage and Recovery Program (ASR), which injects treated surface water into the aquifer when our wells are not in use. The more water we recharge and store during the off-peak season, the less we will have to rely on local groundwater alone. It’s like money in the bank. It should also be noted that these facility improvements are included in TMWA’s existing budget and will not affect customer rates.
The projects mentioned above, however, will not be sufficient to restore the groundwater resource. In order to provide for the long-term sustainability of the local groundwater aquifer, TMWA is also planning to construct a small (8,800 square foot) water treatment plant (WTP) off of Whites and Thomas Creeks. The location of the proposed water treatment plant is within the Monte Vista subdivision, on the north side of Whites Creek, adjacent to Callahan Road as shown in the map below. When adequate creek flows are available, a portion of the flow will be diverted to the WTP, and sufficient flows will remain in both creeks to maintain wildlife and habitat needs, as well as downstream irrigation requirements.
By expanding our ASR Program, and supplementing the limited water supplies from the Truckee River with creek water, TMWA’s goal is to actually pump less groundwater from the Mt. Rose and Galena fan aquifer than we do today.
The WTP project will be vetted through various permitting agencies and Washoe County’s Special Use Permit (SUP) process. Review meetings have been scheduled for the following dates and times:
South Truckee Meadows / Washoe Valley Citizen’s Advisory Board: Thursday January 14, 2016, 6:00 p.m. at the South Valleys Library located at 15650A Wedge Parkway, Reno.
Washoe County Board of Adjustment: Thursday, February 4, 2016, 1:30 p.m. at the County Commission Chambers, 1001 E. 9th Street, Building A, 1st Floor, Reno.
The entire SUP application may be reviewed by clicking here.
If you have questions or would like further explanation of TMWA’s plans for groundwater sustainability on the Mt. Rose Fan, please email John Enloe at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 834-8250.