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City of Reno Master Plan: Conservation Plan

Amended 2008
This plan is divided into nine sections: Introduction, Truckee River, Drainageways,
Wetlands/Stream Environments, Geology and Soils, Geologic Hazards, Air Quality,
Archaeological Resources and Historic Resources. The Introduction describes the
boundary, time frame, relationship to other plans and why this plan is needed.
Additional sections generally describe the conservation, development, and utilization of
the natural resources identified.
This Conservation Plan covers all of the City of Reno and its sphere of influence at the
time this plan was prepared.
This Conservation Plan horizon is to the year 2030.
This plan is an element of the City of Reno Master Plan prepared in accordance with
Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 278.150 through 278.170.
Policies of the Truckee Meadows Regional Plan are applicable regionwide. The City of
Reno Master Plan has three different levels of applicability; Citywide, Center and

Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Nonpoint Source Assessment and Management Plan 2011 (public review draft)

This assessment and management plan provides an updated assessment of nonpoint source pollution concerns for the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe.  The 2011 update builds upon the research and results compiled for the 1994 Plan. In addition, the revision will reevaluate the concerns and provide an updated ranking of priority NPS issues. For each of these NPS concerns, possible treatment options are suggested.  The updated plan will serve as a tool in the Tribe’s efforts to protect water quality and associated designated beneficial uses on reservation waters.

This edition is a public review draft.  Please submit comments via the contibutor contact information, or our website.  Comment period is open from 11/23/2011 to 12/23/2011.

Get out of the drain age, into the retain age

By Deborah K. Rich, SF Gate
Saturday, December 6, 2008

Embedded in both urban and suburban lot design is the "pave and pipe paradigm," according to Brock Dolman, director of the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center's Water Institute. It favors grading, piping and paving properties to drain away rainwater as quickly as possible.

But rapidly draining water off landscapes rather than allowing it the time and space to soak in causes a host of problems downstream and in the pipes. Culverts pour water into gullies and seasonal creeks, overloading and eroding the natural drainage area and rushing sediment into rivers, streams and estuaries, where it imperils fish.

Downspouts, gutters and sloping driveways conduct water into the storm water and sewer systems, which can dump raw sewage when overloaded. After we're finished draining our properties, we pay, increasingly dearly, to pipe water back into our homes and landscapes.

Dolman advocates replacing the "drain age" with a new "retain age," wherein we capture and store storm water for future use and resculpt yards and gardens to allow water to percolate into the ground.

To take a step into the retain age, consider harvesting rainwater from your roof and banking more water in your soil.

Harvesting roof water
Every inch of rainfall on 100 square feet of roof surface yields 55 to 60 gallons of water. For a 2,500-square-foot home, that translates to 1,375 to 1,500 gallons of water per inch of rain. This water can be caught and stored in above- or belowground cisterns and used for drinking, in-house nonpotable uses or irrigation, depending upon what filtration systems are installed and upon local regulations.

For entire article and web references on Water Harvesting, please go to website below.

Maintenance of Stormwater BMPs: Frequency, effort, and cost

November-December 2008 issue, The Stormwater Newsletter
By Joo-Hyon Kang, Peter T. Weiss, John S Gulliver, Bruce C. Wilson

Although many resources are available to aid in the design and construction of most structural stormwater best management practices (BMPs), few guides exist pertaining to their operation and maintenance. Historically, it seems as though a “build ’em and walk” approach has been commonplace. However, increasing focus upon mass balances, numeric goal setting, and total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) now requires that much more emphasis be placed upon BMP operation and maintenance for permitting and reporting requirements—for example, for the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permit program, and as a part of stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) reporting.

Typically, we think of structural stormwater BMP operation for optimizing (1) the removal of pollutants and (2) the reduction of runoff volumes/rates via the management of stormwater networks or treatment trains. BMP maintenance is the purposeful management of a BMP to maintain a desired level of performance and efficiency. Maintenance consists of short-term (routine or more frequent), long-term (non-routine or less frequent), and major (rare) actions (Figure 1).

Stormwater BMPs have a lifecycle from their creation (design and construction) through operative stages (functional or not) that is largely dictated by operation and maintenance (O&M) actions. As maintenance involves a significant amount of resources (personnel, equipment, materials, sediment disposal expense, etc.), the more we learn about BMP operation, the more likely we are to maintain optimal performance and improve cost efficiencies. The purpose of this article is to advance short- and long-term maintenance considerations to develop more realistic O&M plans. To do this, we have used a combination of a national literature search for maintenance costs coupled with a detailed municipal public works survey.

Minnesota BMP Maintenance Survey
The statewide survey of Minnesota Municipal Public Works managers to define maintenance needs and guidelines was conducted by the University of Minnesota and partly funded by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Previously, the University of Minnesota produced a manual, Assessment and Maintenance of Stormwater Best Management Practices, which includes source reduction and four levels of assessment (from visual to state-of-the-art monitoring). The manual is available online at www.pca.state.mn.us/water/stormwater/stormwater-research.html or wrc.umn.edu/outreach/stormwater/bmpassessment/index.html.

The specific goals of the survey were to identify and inventory stormwater BMP maintenance in Minnesota. Survey questionnaires focusing on the following questions were sent to 106 cities; we received 27 responses, for a slightly higher than 25% response rate.

How many BMPs are in your watershed?
How often are your BMPs inspected?
What is the average staff-hours spent per routine inspection/maintenance?
How complex is the maintenance of your BMPs?
Which factors most frequently cause the performance deterioration of your BMPs?
What are the costs for non-routine maintenance activities?

We attempted to make the survey as simple as possible, requesting information for typical response ranges of common BMPs. Although the number of respondents was relatively low, we believe that the results will help refine operation and maintenance needs.

Inspection Frequency and Staff-Hours. The required frequency of stormwater BMP maintenance actions and the associated required staff-hours are two key parameters that are necessary to reasonably budget and schedule inspection and maintenance. Frequency and staff-hours vary according to BMP design, climate conditions, accessibility of the BMP, and maintenance strategies of the BMP operators. As part of the survey, cities were asked to provide information regarding their frequency of routine maintenance actions for various kinds of BMPs.
For entire article, please see website.

Tahoe Keys a center for recreation — and controversy

Adam Jensen, Tahoe Daily Tribune

Few construction projects in the Lake Tahoe Basin highlight the often-conflicting interests of development and environmental protection quite like the Tahoe Keys. Built in the late 1950s and early ’60s, the 740-acre development at the mouth of the Upper Truckee River has alternately been seen as an appealing place to live and an environmental disaster.

An estimated 5 million cubic yards of material were dredged from the marsh at the mouth of the river to create the fingers of land interlaced with 11 miles of backyard waterways that make up the Keys. The effort destroyed much of the river’s marsh and removed a major filtration system from Lake Tahoe’s largest tributary, identified by the Lahontan Water Board as a major source of fine sediment that reduces the clarity of the lake.

The draw of the development is undeniable, and marketing for the neighborhood has changed little over the past four decades.

“Most of the 1,539 members who own homes, townhouses or vacant lots have a private boat dock and are located on numerous lagoons, canals or the Tahoe Keys Marina with its boat-launching ramps,” according to the Tahoe Keys Property Owners Association. “Waterfront living provides direct access to Lake Tahoe and its many watersports. At Tahoe Keys, we enjoy breathtaking views of the lake and mountains, and enjoy amenities like tennis, indoor and outdoor pools, spa and more.”

While the attraction of living in the Keys has remained the same, the development more recently has faced a new set of environmental issues, including the fight against the introduction of aquatic invasive species into Lake Tahoe.

Eurasian watermilfoil was discovered in the Keys in the 1980s and, despite efforts to remove it, has spread to numerous locations around the lake. Researchers also have indicated the Keys area is the likely introduction point for a growing population of warmwater fish species around the lake.

For entire article, please visit website below.

Planning initiative gathers more than 28,000 signatures

By Susan Voyles • svoyles@rgj.com • June 28, 2008
Reno Gazette-Journal

More than 28,000 signatures were turned in Friday to the Washoe County Registrar of Voters for a citizens initiative to force regional planning to be based on replenishable water resources found within the county.

The 28,388 signatures are about 10,000 more than the 18,083 signatures required for the question to be put on the November ballot. If a sample shows they have more than the required number of verified voter signatures, officials said it would be the first binding question about limiting growth to appear on a Washoe ballot.

"We have no illusions that this fight is just beginning," said Bob Fulkerson, a petition leader at a short rally before turning in four boxes of signatures. "The monied interests and developers have us in their sights." Fulkerson also thanked County Commission Chairman Robert Larkin for challenging sustainable-growth advocates to do their own petition.

"On March 11, we filled the room and asked the Washoe County Commissioners to please put a sustainable water planning advisory question on the ballot," Fulkerson said. "Instead the chairman of the commission told us to go home and watch Oprah," he said.

"Did we go home and watch Oprah?" he asked a dozen supporters who responded with an emphatic "no." Rather than work for an advisory question, the petition backers decided to make their question binding. Larkin could not be reached for comment.

For entire story, please visit website.

River recreation plan unveiled

By Jeff DeLong, Reno Gazzette Journal
June 14, 2008

Trails, ballparks, picnic sites and a major regional park are included in a new recreation plan linked to flood-control improvements planned along the Truckee River. A conceptual recreation strategy for the $800 million Truckee River flood project was unveiled Friday and will serve as a key component of the overall effort, officials said.

"The recreational component is huge," said Jessica Sferrazza, a Reno City Council member and part of a coalition of local governments pushing for construction of the flood project. The draft plan, prepared by Stantec Consulting, Inc., in Reno, will be forwarded to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for further analysis, including feasibility and cost. Substantial changes are possible.

Recreational features of the project are designed to fit within the footprint of changes planned along the river to reduce flood damage and restore river ecology. The "living river" strategy favored by Reno, Sparks and Washoe County would rely less on levees and flood walls to control flooding than other options. It would allow floodwaters to spread naturally over undeveloped land, including areas where the river bank will be terraced.

Much of that land is seen as ideal to enhance recreational opportunities for Truckee Meadows residents at times when the river is not flooding.

For entire article, please visit website.

Treatment plan would put water from sewers back in regional supply

Posted: 2/13/2008

Using reclaimed sewer water to irrigate residential lawns and injecting it into the ground for reuse as drinking water are ways to stretch water imported to the North Valleys areas of Washoe County, according to a new Reno plan.

"Reclaimed water in parks and golf courses is one thing," said Sarah Chvilicek, who lives in Silver Knolls. "But in people's yards with children and pets is a different thing. Why are we trying to make all these oases in a desert?"

The reclaimed water proposal -- part of a larger infrastructure plan that will be reviewed tonight by the Regional Planning Commission -- comes as Washoe County faces potential water shortages down the road.

The water facilities plan identifies 30,743 acre-feet of potential water resources to meet an expected demand of 59,042 acre-feet by 2030 for an area covering central Reno and Sparks, the south Truckee Meadows, Sun Valley and Spanish Springs. An acre-foot of water covers an acre of ground with a foot of water or 325,851 gallons, the amount used by a family of four in a year.

County, Minden discuss water

by Sheila Gardner, sgardner@recordcourier.com
January 2, 2008

Douglas County and Minden officials are to kick off the new year with a long-awaited meeting Wednesday to discuss water issues.

"We had requested this a long time ago," said Minden vice chairman Dave Sheets. "Then, it got delayed, the agenda wasn't what people wanted. We kept pushing and saying we have a lot of things that have a common interest that may be coming to a head at this point."

Minden recently hired a California law firm to represent the town's vast water holdings from a challenge by the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe which seeks to halt all water transfers.

"The majority of what I perceive this meeting to be is wrapped around water," Sheets said. "We're not going to say, 'We're hiring a law firm. Do you want to participate?'

"For me, it's to try to figure out, 'Do you, as a county, see this as a serious threat? Of paramount importance?' Or, 'this, too, shall pass.'"

Tribal lawyers argued Carson Valley's groundwater is "severely over-appropriated," and more groundwater use means less flow in the Carson River to Lake Lahontan.

Joint meeting between Town of Minden and Douglas County, 5 p.m., Wednesday, CVIC Hall, Esmeralda Avenue, Minden; 6:30 p.m., staff reports; 7 p.m. regular agenda including discussion of U.S. Postal Service process to procure new Minden post office site; bid review of sign at Jake's Wildlife and Wetland Meadow; discuss installation of calliope on 1937 La France Fire Truck for use at town events. Information, 782-5976.

For entire article, please visit website.

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