Truckee water wars may end |

Truckee water wars may end

Martin Griffith, Associated Press Writer

RENO ” Federal officials said they foresee an end to a longstanding dispute over the Truckee River’s waters with the release of a document that finds no significant adverse environmental impacts from a proposed agreement between various parties.

The final environmental study by the U.S. Department of Interior and California Department of Water Resources concludes the Truckee River Operating Agreement would provide a major boost to the river’s water quality and fishery.

The operating agreement negotiated by Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., in 1990 is designed to end decades of conflict over the Truckee’s water by balancing the interests of Fallon-area farmers, the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe’s fisheries and upstream urban users.

Betsy Rieke, Lahontan Basin area manager for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, predicted her agency, Nevada and California, the tribe and other parties would sign the Truckee River agreement by the summer.

“It’s historic. We think for mile of river it’s one of the most litigated rivers in the West,” she said.

Users have fought over Truckee River water use since the late 1800s,” Rieke added.

The agreement also would improve conditions for the threatened Lahontan cutthroat trout and endangered cui-ui, and enable a permanent allocation of water between Nevada and California in the Lake Tahoe, Truckee and Carson River basins, reclamation bureau officials said.

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