However, this is not the case for our region as this is only our second year of drought. In fact, since the year 2000, Lake Tahoe — by far the largest source of supply for our region, has filled or come within six inches of filling in three of the last five years.
How much water do we have and how much do we use? TMWA’s existing water resources include Truckee River water, surface water reserves stored in six upstream reservoirs, and 89 production wells. According to the 2020 TMWA Water Resource Plan, we currently use around 83,000 acre-feet of water a year, about the same amount we used 20 years ago.
Yet, the TMWA service area population has increased by nearly 50% since 2000. During these same 20 years, TMWA has added capacity to the system by acquiring storage rights in Donner Lake, the acquisition of additional Truckee River water rights, and groundwater development. We now have more than 140,000 acre-feet available annually (70 percent more than we currently use) and expect to add even more water sources over time.