Walker River Watershed Improvement Project (CA & NV)

The Walker River Watershed Improvement Project is a USDA-NRCS P.L. 83-566 grant-funded project awarded to the Walker River Irrigation District (WRID) to develop a Watershed Plan and Environmental Assessment (Plan/EA). In the face of sedimentation and flooding issues, WRID contracted with WEST to develop their Plan/EA to include alternatives to minimize upslope erosion and sediment transport to Walker River, and increase and maintain the flow capacity in Walker River to improve WRID’s operational efforts and delivery of water to their customers.

The project consists of a catchment area of 3,082 square miles in Nevada and California, and WRID manages over 80,000 acres of irrigated land in the Walker River Watershed southeast of Reno, Nevada. WRID operates two storage reservoirs: the east fork of Walker River storage located in Bridgeport, California, and the west fork of Walker River storage located at Topaz Reservoir on the boarder of California and Nevada. The purpose of the watershed improvement project is to identify, analyze, prioritize, and address resource concerns within the watershed, including natural and human-made desertification in the uplands, poor vegetation cover and diversity, decreasing in infiltration capacity, increasing in erosion, flooding and sedimentation, declining plant and animal species, reduced natural groundwater recharge, and declining riparian habitat. Both engineered and land treatment solutions are expected to be used.

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