Development of Tools and Solutions to Optimize the Operations of the Truckee River based on the Requirements of the Truckee River Operating Agreement

Affiliation(s)PIProject periodFunded by
DHS Boyle, Douglas P 09/30/2006 - 03/31/2010 DOI - Bureau of Reclamation

Project Description

In the recent U.S. Department of Interior initiative, Water 2025: Preventing crises and conflict in the West, the Truckee-Carson River systems are identified as two areas with a high likelihood for potential conflict (existing water supplies are not adequate to meet water demands for people, farms, and the environment). Over the last decade, the USBR and other Federal agencies have spent millions of dollars developing decision support system (DSS) tools to more efficiently manage existing water resources in the Truckee-Carson River systems. When implemented (~2007), the Truckee River Operating Agreement (TROA) will provide additional benefits by reducing institutional barriers to storage and delivery of water to other uses while protecting existing uses and stakeholders. TROA will allow major water right holders (e.g., Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, U.S. Government, states of Nevada and California, Truckee Meadows Water Authority, and other local entities) to manage and exchange complex system-wide water resources (ground water, reservoir storage, and natural streamflow) within the Truckee River watershed. In order for the TROA administrator, major water right holders, and impacted third parties to understand the short and long term impacts of each proposed water exchange and transfer, the existing Reclamation water resource decision support system (DSS) tools must be modified to include the complex operational details of TROA (at least ten times as complex as the existing operational rules). This project will provide DRI faculty with the opportunity to develop the tools and expertise required to become involved in other emerging water resource management and water exchange and transfer efforts in Nevada and other locations throughout the arid and semi-arid western U.S.