Skip to main content

Third-Party Nutrient TMDL Review and Revision for the Truckee River, Nevada

The full text article is not available for purchase.

The publisher only permits individual articles to be downloaded by subscribers.

or click here to sign up for a free trial


A nutrient TMDL was developed for the Truckee River in 1994 to protect aquatic life uses by controlling algal growth and improving dissolved oxygen. The Cities of Reno and Sparks, Washoe County, and the Truckee Meadows Water Authority (TMWA) have initiated a thirdparty review and potential revision to the TMDL. Driving factors for the TMDL revision include likely implementation of improved river flow management, the need to address challenges in balancing regional growth with environmental health and economic impacts, availability of more appropriate science-backed data and modeling tools, and opportunities for a more flexible TMDL solution. The original focus of the nutrient TMDL included addressing solely the chemical relationships between nutrients and dissolved oxygen. A proposed addition for analysis is a physical and biological look at the conditions of the watershed. The revised Truckee River TMDL may provide unique opportunities for flexible, water quality improvement solutions including waste load modifications for the Cities of Reno and Sparks which would allow for less costly wastewater plant operations and support for planned growth. It is intended that the revised TMDL will be structured to allow trading of allocations between point and nonpoint sources as long as nonpoint reductions can be demonstrated and the total assimilative river capacity is not exceeded. The TMDL will also be designed to consider potential increases in assimilative capacity from geomorphic improvements such as channel modification from stream restoration or increased instream flows. The effort has experienced many challenges including lack of momentum, competing issues in the watershed, and recognition that revision of water quality standards must be considered. However there have also been numerous successes to date including collaboration with and support from regulators to consider site-specific changes to water quality standards, and a revision to the TMDL using a flexible and creative approach. There has also been increased collaboration among the stakeholders who often had been in adversarial positions related to water resources. There is a joint vision that expansion of the TMDL to a future, broader stakeholder-based process will likely provide multiple benefits for regional water quality management.

Keywords: HSPF; TROA; Truckee River; WARMF; benthic algae; nutrient TMDL; third-party

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

    WEF Members: Sign in (right panel) with your IngentaConnect user name and password to receive complimentary access.
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • About WEF Proceedings
  • WEFTEC Conference Information
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more