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County approves studies to focus on exporting, containing water in Lemmon Valley


Washoe County commissioners plan to use internal funds to mitigate the high water table in Lemmon Valley, an area that has been dealing with flooding since a heavy winter hit several years ago.

Commissioners on Tuesday approved a $149,796 contract with Brown and Caldwell for the Swan Lake Surface Water Exportation Feasibility Study, which will evaluate the potential for export water outside of the East Lemmon Valley closed hydrographic basin.

Additionally, a $107,460 agreement with Carano, an engineering services company, was also approved for the Swan Lake Flood Mitigation Strategy Analysis feasibility study. It’ll evaluate potential long-term options for the basin for the possible diversion of upstream flows and to contain floodwater within the Swan Lake boundary.

“The reason we’re bringing this forward is because funding is available in the capital improvement program as identified by this board from some water rights sales that were completed over the last couple years,” Assistant County Manger David Solaro said. “Staff is certainly eager to get some solutions in place out in Lemmon Valley.”

The county has continued upkeep, maintenance, and response in eastern Lemmon Valley. A series of storms beginning in fall 2016 and continuing through spring 2017 impacted the region with record levels of precipitation. This resulted in saturated soil conditions and extensive runoff of stormwater, which led to regional flooding.

Carla O'Day
Carla O'Day
Carla has an undergraduate degree in journalism and more than 10 years experience as a daily newspaper reporter. She grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., moved to the Reno area in 2002 and wrote for the Reno Gazette-Journal for 8 years, covering a variety of topics. Prior to that, she covered local government in Fort Pierce, Fla.