The Carson and Truckee Rivers Lifeline in the Desert

by Mark A. Treviño, US Bureau of Reclamation, Washington, United States,
Franklin E. Dimick, US Bureau of Reclamation, Washington, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Urban and Regional Conflict Resolution in Water Related Issues


Nevada is the most arid state in the nation with an average annual precipitation of less than 9 inches (23 cm) over the 110,500 square miles (286,200 sq km). The Truckee, Carson, and Walker Rivers carry water from high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the semi-arid regions in northern Nevada. The Humboldt River, the only major river that originates and terminates in the state and also the longest river in the state, runs from east to west across the northern part of the state. By the year 2000, cities like Reno, Sparks, and Carson City are anticipating a 30 percent population growth and the current water supply may not meet expected demands during drought conditions. Irrigation is the dominant water use and is a major part of the rural economies in northern Nevada. The four basin area, consisting of the Carson, Truckee, Walker, and Humboldt basins, is currently in its fifth year of drought which makes it critical that agricultural, environmental, and municipal users 'come to terms' on how best to make use of their limited water supply if all parties are to survive in this semi-arid region of Nevada.

Subject Headings: Water shortage | Urban areas | Trucks | Rivers and streams | Arid lands | Municipal water | Water resources | Water supply | Nevada | United States

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