The Walker River Irrigation District (WRID) manages approximately 235,000 acres of land, which encompasses over 80,000 acres of irrigated land in the Walker River Watershed southeast of Reno, Nevada. WRID owns, operates, and maintains infrastructure along both the East and West Walker Rivers and along the main Walker River, which includes Bridgeport Reservoir, Topaz Lake, and approximately 200 miles of ditches and drains within both Smith and Mason Valley.
In the face of sedimentation and flooding issues, the District contracted with WEST to lead efforts to develop a watershed plan and environmental assessment that would include mitigation plans that are cost effective, address root causes that are impacting natural resources, and improve the natural and human environment. The purpose of the watershed improvement project is to identify, analyze, prioritize, and address resource concerns, such as, 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, within the watershed. Identified resource concerns, such as these, will be evaluated in relation to the efficient functioning of the Walker River Irrigation District.