Welcome to OneWater Nevada
OneWater Nevada is a collaboration between regional agencies, exploring a comprehensive approach to extending the resiliency and sustainability of local water resources for future generations. This approach takes into account the interconnected nature of water systems and seeks to balance our community’s needs with the protection and preservation of natural resources. Through this effort, OneWater Nevada seeks to identify, understand, and implement water practices, such as:
- Exploring ways to both conserve and extend the use of existing water resources
- Considering long term water-resource and water-quality management issues
- Helping protect the environmental integrity of our watersheds
- Developing technologies and practices that sustain our quality of life
OneWater Nevada’s primary goal is to ensure there is enough water available to meet the needs of all users while protecting, and even improving, the region’s water quality and environmental integrity. This involves careful monitoring of water supplies, assessing future water demands, and developing strategies to meet those demands while minimizing the impact on the natural environment.
A current step in this effort is to evaluate the potential for improving efficiency, drought flexibility, and diversification of the region’s water supply by using Nevada’s category A+ “Advanced Purified Water.” OneWater Nevada’s research indicates Advanced Purified Water represents an opportunity to create an entirely new water resource.
Introducing the Advanced Purified Water Facility at American Flat
In Northern Nevada we’ve always taken the long view when it comes to managing our water resources. From building infrastructure to operating our reservoirs, to replenishing aquifers; we’ve always worked to stay ahead of the needs of a vibrant community facing the challenges of growth, drought, and climate change.
Today we are fortunate to have the water resources needed to provide for our neighborhoods and businesses—even in drought years. But, as we have always done in the past, we are looking forward and planning for the coming decades.
The Advanced Purified Water Facility at American Flat is one example of this forward view. The result of a regional collaboration known as OneWater Nevada, the Advanced Purified Water Facility will apply state-of-the-art water purification processes and provide the region with the potential for over two million gallons of high-quality drinking water daily.
“We knew we were missing an opportunity by simply treating the water we use in homes and businesses and discharging it into Swan Lake," said Lydia Teel, Emerging Water Resources Administrator at Truckee Meadows Water Authority. "Stunning advances in water recycling have been made around the country, allowing hundreds of millions of gallons of extremely-high-quality drinking water to be produced and delivered every day. The proven technologies were there; we just had to find a way to make it work here. With OneWater Nevada, we’ve taken these advanced technologies and adapted them to meet the needs of our high desert region.”
How will this process work?
The Advanced Purified Water Facility will take highly treated effluent water from the Reno-Stead Water Reclamation Facility and put it through a multi-step, redundant process. This includes ozonation, biological carbon filtration, ultraviolet disinfection, and numerous other steps. Once treated, the water will be injected into an outlying aquifer at American Flat, north of Stead Airport. Storage in the groundwater aquifer adds a natural environmental buffer and offers additional water-quality benefits.
Initially, the water will be used for irrigation at American Flat Farm, but eventually it will be used to serve homes and business with a drought-proof supply of extremely high-quality water.
“The new facility will produce two million gallons a day," Teel added. "That’s enough water for about 4,500 homes. So basically, we’ll be taking a resource that was being discarded and using it to extend the resilience and sustainability of our regional water resources.”
With almost a decade of research, feasibility studies, and testing already complete, the OneWater Nevada team is now in the design process for the Advanced Purified Water Facility with the expectation of breaking ground on the project in the fall of 2024. Construction should last about two years followed by several years of advanced-treatment testing, ground-water injection, irrigation use, and water-quality monitoring.
An additional project benefit is the opportunity for public education both during and after construction of the Advanced Purified Water Facility. As the eventual end users of A+ Advanced Purified Water, community members will want to learn about the technology and the quality of the water it produces. For now, the OneWater Nevada team will continue to hold public presentations and make educational resources available online. Once the Advanced Purified Water Facility opens, it will offer a specially designed Public Education Center where students and adults can see first-hand how advanced treatment technology will benefit our community for generations to come.