U.S. Department of the InteriorOffice of the Secretary - U.S. Department of the Interior - www.doi.gov - Media Advisory
Date: Sept. 5, 2008
Contact: Shane Wolfe/Joan Moody
Pete Lucero-Reclamation

Secretary Kempthorne to Join Sen. Reid, Tribal Chairman Wright, Other Dignitaries at Signing Ceremony of Historic Truckee River Operating Agreement

RENO, NV--Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne will join U.S. Senator and Majority Leader Harry Reid; Chairman Mervin Wright, Jr. of Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe of Indians; and other federal, state and local dignitaries at a signing ceremony for the Truckee River Operating Agreement on Saturday, Sept. 6, 2008, at Wingfield Park in Reno, Nev.

To resolve more than 100 years of conflict and litigation over the water in the region, the Department of the Interior, the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, Department of Justice, States of California and Nevada, and the Truckee Meadows Water Authority will sign the agreement before an audience of more than 400 individuals representing organizations that helped develop it.

The agreement is the fulfillment of the requirements of the 1990 Settlement Act for the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, sponsored by Sen. Reid, which directed the Secretary of the Interior to negotiate an operating agreement for the major federal and private reservoirs on the Truckee River upstream of Reno. This river system is the only source of water for Pyramid Lake Reservation and for the growing communities of Sparks and Reno.

The Truckee River Operating Agreement removes no water rights and benefits all users by ensuring efficient coordination of the operation of the reservoirs for the purposes of storage, release, and exchange of water. All unappropriated water goes to the tribe—up to 400,000 acre feet per year. The agreement also provides storage space in the reservoirs to increase municipal drought supplies for Reno and Sparks, benefit instream flows for fishery and water quality purposes, and enhance reservoir levels for recreation use.

Who: Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne
U.S. Senator and Majority Leader Harry Reid
Chairman Mervin Wright, Jr., Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe of Indians
Assistant Attorney General Ronald Tenpas, Environment and Natural Resources Division, Justice Dept.
Resources Secretary Mike Chrisman, State of California
Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Director Allen Biaggi
Chairman Mike Carrigan, Board of Directors, Truckee Meadows Water Authority.
What: Signing Ceremony for the historic Truckee River Operating Agreement
When: Saturday, Sept. 6, 2008, 12 noon to 1 p.m.
Where: Wingfield Park on the Truckee River, 1st Street and Arlington Avenue, Reno, Nev. 89501

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