Forum to focus on Carson River | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Forum to focus on Carson River

CARSON CITY (AP) – The Carson River’s future, including recreation uses, agricultural and urban growth demands and environmental concerns, will be discussed at a Friday symposium.

The river’s surface water is mostly used for agriculture, but planners say that likely will change.

“As growth continues in the watershed, there is a need to provide water to this new growth,” said Ed James, general manager of the Carson Water Subconservancy District, the group organizing the symposium. “A lot of this new water is going to come from the Carson River itself.”

As existing groundwater resources are put to full use, planners will have to look to the Carson River to meet new demands, he added.

The question, James said, is “How do you firm up this water supply?”

“The river goes dry almost every summer,” he said. “If you’re a rancher and the river goes dry, that means you won’t be able to irrigate your field, get one more cutting of alfalfa or something. But if you are providing (water) to people’s homes, you can’t tell people, ‘I am sorry, the river is dry. We are going to shut down.”‘

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With a watershed of 3,996 square miles, the Carson River stretches about 183 miles from Alpine County in California to Nevada’s Churchill County.

“We’re seeing land converted from agricultural to urban uses,” said Genie Azad, watershed coordinator for the subconservancy district.

Nevada tourism officials also are looking at the Carson River for increased recreational opportunities, such as whitewater rafting, kayaking and canoeing.

“We are looking at having whitewater river recreation in not only Carson City on the Carson River, but also in Douglas County and Lyon County, where the river also passes through on its way to Churchill County,” said Chris Chrystal of the Nevada Commission on Tourism.

The river varies from “very exciting and exhilarating” to much calmer waters “that would be more appropriate for people who are not looking for a hard adventure experience,” she said.