Truckee Water Levels Cause Concern

RENO, Nev. - Looking at the Truckee River in Downtown Reno, Federal Water Master Chad Blanchard says he's hoping for some more springtime showers.

"We're at the lowest peak since 1988," he said.

On average in May, the Truckee River flows about 1460 cubic feet per sec (cfs). Right now Blanchard says, it's flowing at 673 cfs.

"It would be even lower if we weren't releasing 300 cfs of storage water to keep up with the fish demand," Blanchard said.

He says a lot of our snow came in November and December, but the beginning months of 2013 have been dry, and most of the snow melt is being lost into the ground.

Though we'll take any amount of rain here in the Truckee Meadows, the National Weather Service says what's in the forecast for this week won't do much to help the water levels.

Blanchard says he's hoping for many spring showers spread throughout the season.

Firefighters are hoping for the same thing.

Mark Regan with the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection Service says these showers are helping our vegetation stay moist but it's also causing a potential problem.

"These showers are giving cheatgrass the perfect conditions to grow," Regan said. "If we don't have anymore showers, the thicker grass will dry out and give wildfires even more fuel."

Fire officials say the rain is nice, but all we need is one hot or windy day and we'll be right back where we started.

Blanchard says kayakers competing in the Reno River Festival this weekend shouldn't worry there will still be enough for them to compete.

Water officials are more concerned now about where the water levels will be in the summer.


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