News Releases

Highland Canal Project Reduces TMWA Energy Costs

Apr 8, 2014

To cut energy costs, Truckee Meadows Water Authority (TMWA) has improved the water flow in the Highland Canal, one of the principal water sources for the Chalk Bluff Water Treatment Plant in west Reno.

By reconstructing portions of the canal and installing equipment to increase capacity and prevent ice from impeding water flows during the winter, TMWA is moving more water through the canal by gravity flow and reducing the water supplier’s reliance on pumping water to the treatment plant from the Orr Ditch Pump Station.

“The Highland Canal Project continues to be a great investment in the reliability of our water system,” said Mark Foree, TMWA’s general manager.  “Saving $45,500 in annual power costs and getting a rebate makes this project a win-win for everyone.   Thanks to NV Energy for being a great community partner,” he added.  

The improvements to the canal are expected to save TMWA over 552,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually, reducing TMWA’s electric bill by up to $45,500 per year. Because the improvements qualified for NV Energy’s Sure Bet energy efficiency program for commercial electric customers, TMWA has received a $32,329 rebate from NV Energy to help offset project costs.

TMWA received an $82,556 rebate from the Sure Bet program in 2012 for previous canal improvements that reduced TMWA’s annual electricity usage by approximately 2.9 million kilowatt hours.

Sure Bet provides technical assistance and financial incentives to commercial electric customers who make energy efficiency improvements or construct new facilities using energy saving technologies.  Incentives are based on the verified energy savings resulting from their improvements.

The combined energy savings from the projects is equivalent to the amount of electricity needed to power 379 homes in northern Nevada for a year, and has reduced TMWA’s annual carbon emissions by 2,560 tons, according to officials at NV Energy.

Water from the Truckee River enters the Highland Canal near Verdi and runs alongside Interstate 80 on its journey to the treatment plant. Originally constructed in 1875 to supply irrigation water, the Highland Canal was extended in 1880 to provide drinking water to Reno. The recently completed improvements complete TMWA’s planned improvements to the canal system.

For further information: NV Energy Contact: Karl Walquist (775) 834-3891, TMWA Contact: Marlene Olsen (775) 772-0020,