RENO, Nev. (News 4 & Fox 11) — Current water content in the Sierra Nevada snowpack and upstream reservoirs is enough to supply customers in the Reno-Sparks area for up to three years, according to the Truckee Meadows Water Authority.
TMWA officials said on Thursday the water supply outlook for 2023 is 'excellent' after an historic, record-breaking winter across the Sierra Nevada and northern Nevada.
With snowpack sitting at 200-300% of normal across much of the region, water officials forecasted 'significantly above average streamflow runoff this spring.'
Lake Tahoe is projected to rise another 3 feet before July and could fill up altogether, said Bill Hauck, TMWA water supply supervisor.
All other upstream reservoirs, including Donner, Independence, Prosser, Boca and Stampede are all going to fill up entirely, he said.
Given the water storage in reservoirs, the expected high flow of the Truckee River and other sources, the system currently has enough water to supply the region for two to three years, he said.
With a full Lake Tahoe or a close to full Lake Tahoe, we can expect two to three years of normal river flows regardless of what happens next winter or the winter after that.
Hauck said water experts are already letting water out of Lahontan Reservoir in Churchill County to make room for the water that is still to come.
Though the region is no longer in drought and water is not in short supply, Hauck said TMWA's conservation measures, such as assigned-day watering, are still in effect.
"It's just the right thing to do. We always advocate wise water use. We don't want to see it wasted and honestly, water that we're not diverting to meet customer demand goes on down to other users, particularly Pyramid Lake and the fisheries."
Assigned-day watering means that customers living at odd addresses can only run sprinklers on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Customers at even addresses can only run sprinklers on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Watering is not allowed on Mondays or between noon and 6 p.m. You're also advised to avoid watering when it's windy and try to water early in the day.
Hauck said such conservation measures have contributed to the per person water use trending down over the last 20 years.
To learn more about TMWA's water conservation rules and best practices, visit their website.
Email reporter Ben Margiott at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @BenMargiott on Twitter and Ben Margiott KRNV on Facebook.