Truckee River Agreement Article

Okay, this has nothing to do with anything recent, but I still thought it was interesting. An undated article that investigates exactly who is to blame for the 1997 flood that put downtown Reno under several feet of water. The conclusion seems to be that a large part of the floodwaters came rushing through town because the gates at Tahoe City, where the waters of Lake Tahoe first tumble into the Truckee River, were kept wide open all the way through the flood. If they had been closed tight, all that water would have stayed in the Lake and the flood in Reno would have been reduced by half. But, because of a federal policy named the Truckee River Agreement, a policy that requires the gates to stay open when Lake Tahoe’s elevation reaches a certain point, the Water Master in charge of the gates could not, legally, close them. So all that water was allowed to rush down the hill into Reno.

Actually, there is one link in the article to something happening recently. The Virginia Street Bridge is mentioned as a “choke point”, something that serves to constrict water flow and make the flooding even worse that it should be. Just this year it was agreed that the bridge will be demolished, for exactly this reason.

Oh, and the Truckee River Agreement is being replaced by the Truckee River Operating Agreement, which does have provisions for flood control. It won’t stop nature from repeating the flood, but it will allow the Water Master to keep the gates closed next time.

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