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Why is the Truckee River flowing low?

The Truckee River is seen in downtown Reno on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017 (SBG)

Local residents have been seeing a dramatic drop in the levels of the Truckee River within the last month.

For several months, officials warned the public that the river was too dangerous following the historic winter. After having too much water, because of high lake levels, federal water master Chad Blanchard minimized the released from the Lake Tahoe Dam.

"We cannot release water from Lake Tahoe if we don't need it for Floriston rate," Blanchard explained. "We'd be breaking the law. So right now there's still enough snow melt - natural flow - to meet our required flow. So we cannot release from storage."

Typically after the lake peaks, the inflow from the snow melt exceeds evaporation. This causes Lake Tahoe to rise. Once balanced, the water master - Blanchard - has to trim back on the release.

Blanchard reported that the Truckee River is running at 630 cubic feet per second (CFS) as of August 1. That's above the river's average of 500 CFS.

Some areas along the Truckee River have sediment brought downstream from the high flows during the winter. The City of Reno has plans to remove the excessive gravel near Wingfield Park by the end of August.

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