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North Valleys Integration Project Designed to Utilize Untapped Groundwater Resources

By ThisIsReno
Lemmon Valley Swan Lake area photo by Bob Conrad

Truckee Meadows Water Authority’s $17.8 million project dubbed, “The North Valleys Integration Project” will begin this summer and involves construction of 29,000 feet of water main to tap into the previously unused Fish Springs groundwater supply.

Tapping into this new source means that the North Valleys area will have an independent source for water, which will allow more water to stay in the Truckee Meadows area and help stretch out drought reserves; the goal is to supply the equal amount of water currently pumped from the Truckee Meadows area, and currently the project is expected to deliver 8,000 acre-feet of water per year.

Since there hasn’t been a way to use this supply in the past, the new project will have to be integrated into the North Valley Water System, but people living in the North Valleys area aren’t expected to notice any changes in service.

This project is one of two purposed to better use Truckee Meadow’s surface water during the winter so that ground water wells and aquifers will be able to recharge for use in the summer when it is needed most; the idea of dynamically managing water in this way is referred to as conjunctive use, and it is one of TMWA’s main focuses. TMWA is already recharging 7.5 million gallons of water a day into local aquifers.

These projects have been in the waiting stage while Truckee Meadows Water Authority became consolidated with the Washoe County’s Department of Water Resources, but now that this process is over these projects can begin.

“Our integration with former WCDWR infrastructure is just beginning,” said Project Manager Scott Estes. “And we expect it will take a number of years, along with a lot of work and planning, to get conjunctive use firing on all cylinders. Still, we are off to a great start and happy that we are now past consolidation and able to really dig into the important improvements needed in managing our local water supply.”

The North Valley’s integration project is estimated to be completed by June 1, 2016.

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