TMWA’s Arrow Creek Project Aims to Replenish Groundwater in Galena/Mt. Rose Area

Having just been consolidated with Washoe County Water Resources and South Truckee Meadows General Improvement District after a five year wait, the Truckee Meadows Water Authority now has the ability to start improvement projects that will replenish ground water supplies and stretch out Nevada’s drought reserves.

The Arrow Creek Project, led by Project Manager Scott Estes, is one of two projects that is purposed to these goals.

“We did a little bit of testing on some wells up by the Mt. Rose/Galena area,” said Estes. “And we found some of the water levels in these wells has decreased over the last ten years.”

Over pumping and an insufficient amount of recharge from snowpack are both reasons why well-water levels have decreased. With an ongoing drought pushing into its third year, the Arrow Creek Project will store up water reserves during the winter to be used during the peak summer season.

“It allows us to turn off the production wells during the winter,” said Estes. “To let them recharge, and then we can use the wells in the summer time when the water is needed.“

Galena and surrounding areas rely exclusively on groundwater, but these wells are greatly diminished due to the lack of snowfall. The Arrow Creek Project will make use of off-peak water supply to allow the ground water wells in the area to refill.

“Really what these projects are all about is protecting the groundwater resource,” said Estes. “We need to ensure they’re a long-term viable resource for the future.”

This two phase project is estimated to cost $2.3 million, and construction is scheduled to start on phase one this summer and be completed by November 2015. Phase two will take place 2016-2017.

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