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PHOTOS: Drought arrives at Little Washoe Lake


Photos by Ty O’Neil

Drought conditions are gripping Nevada and the West. After a less than stellar winter with below normal snowpack, conservation and water officials said a “Miracle March” could help turn things around a bit. That didn’t happen.

In late May, officials at Truckee Meadows Water Authority warned residents that watering restrictions were coming. TMWA Senior Hydrologist Bill Hauk said that with a snowpack at 68% of normal, conditions were “just like” 2015, another drought year.

Today, TMWA reports on its Daily Water Update the Truckee River Basin is at 71% of average for snow water equivalent. The Truckee River flow is rated as “low,” flowing at 497 cubic feet per second at Farad and just 281 cubic feet per second in Reno. The flow is managed via the dam at Tahoe City where the water level is still more than one-and-a-half feet above Lake Tahoe’s natural rim.

Elsewhere, water is disappearing. The conditions seen in Washoe Valley in 2017, when Washoe Lake nearly overflowed its banks, are just a memory. This Is Reno’s Ty O’Neil documented low water levels at Little Washoe Lake over Fourth of July weekend, where hundreds of fish are dying from lack of water. Take a look at the gallery below.

For more information on water restrictions and current data, visit https://www.smartaboutwater.com/#dashboard.

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