Landmark pact on dispute over Truckee River’s water |

Landmark pact on dispute over Truckee River’s water

Associated Press
and Swift News Service

RENO ” With the scenic stream flowing behind them, officials from California, Nevada and the federal government signed a landmark agreement that settles a century-plus-old dispute over the Truckee River’s water.

The pact provides storage for drought-year water supplies in Sierra Nevada reservoirs ” including Boca, Prosser and Stampede ” for years to come for the Reno and Sparks area.

Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada and U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne joined local and state officials at the signing ceremony Saturday in Reno for the Truckee River Operating Agreement.

The complex document allocates the river’s waters between the two states and balances the interests of urban users, downstream farmers and the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe.

The Truckee flows more than 100 miles from the California side of Lake Tahoe to its terminus at Pyramid Lake, about 30 miles northeast of Reno.

Under the agreement, California will get two-thirds of Lake Tahoe’s water to Nevada’s one-third, while Nevada will receive 90 percent of the Truckee’s water to California’s 10 percent.

Reid called the Truckee River Operating Agreement one of the most important deals he’s ever negotiated.

The allocation of river water, much of which also flows from Lake Tahoe, has been fought over by irrigation district, the Pyramid Paiute Tribe and state and federal officials for decades.

Officials say that storage will help meet demand in drought years when Truckee Meadows Water Authority is providing up to 119,000 acre-feet of water a year to customers.

The plan already was in place and working under an interim agreement approved several years ago.

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