RENO, Nev. — Lingering drought has helped push Lake Tahoe’s water level below its natural rim for the first time in five years, cutting off flows into the Truckee River.
The river has been reduced to a shallow stream as it meanders down the Sierra through Reno.
The Truckee Meadows Water Authority is confident it has more than enough reserves in a string of reservoirs downstream from Tahoe to meet water demand in the Reno-Sparks area into next summer.
But depending on winter conditions, agricultural users in the high desert east of Reno could face irrigation cutbacks in the year to come.
Water officials confirmed Friday that for the first time since October 2009 Tahoe had dropped just below the rim. The record low was in 1992 when it fell nearly 3 feet below the rim.