City signs upstream storage contract

The Fernley Reporter

On April 7, the City of Fernley and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation formally executed a contract that allows Fernley to store up to 10,000 acre‐feet of municipal surface water in Truckee River upstream reservoirs that are owned and operated by the federal government (Stampede, Boca, etc.).

This contract represents the culmination of years of work by City staff to secure effective drought protection for the City’s surface water resources and is also an important step in ensuring that Fernley has a diverse and stable water supply well into the future.

The storage fee that Fernley will pay to the Bureau for water stored in the reservoirs is $8.50/acre‐foot. This is one of the lowest rates for a storage contract of this type in the western United States. Truckee Meadows Water Authority (TMWA) operates under a similar contract for upstream storage, as do the cities of Sacramento and Roseville, California. For comparison purposes, Sacramento and Roseville have similar contracts to store water in federal reservoirs at current rates of $19.72/acre‐foot.


Fernley’s storage fee will increase each year by a fixed 2.335 percent. The contract has a term of 40 years and is renewable for subsequent 40 year terms.

After learning that the contract had been executed by the federal government, Mayor Roy Edgington stated, “I want to thank the City Manager, our staff and consultants, and our partners at the Bureau of Reclamation for their efforts in helping the City achieve this important milestone. The City Council made this a top priority and our staff delivered.”

The contract was authorized as part of the Truckee River Operating Agreement (TROA) that was implemented last year. TROA resolved decades of litigation and disputes between the Federal Government, the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, various municipalities, and the states of California and Nevada over the storage and use of Truckee River water.

The city has 10,000 acre-feet of Truckee River water rights that it had previously been unable to store.

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