Spring Creek Well 10 Project FAQs

Truckee Meadows Water Authority (TMWA) is replacing an old well (Donovan Well) with a new one (Spring Creek 10) in north Spanish Springs. Below you will find a list of Frequently Asked Questions and answers related to this project.

There will be multiple opportunities for the public to provide comment.

  • Public Meeting (June 12th): The primary purpose of this meeting was to discuss the Special Use Permit required by Washoe County to build the well house. TMWA staff was on hand to answer questions.
  • Domestic Well Questions: Due to concerns voiced by domestic well owners, a meeting has been organized for July 10, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Alyce Taylor Elementary School. Please return to this webpage for updates.

Frequently Asked Questions

TMWA is equipping this new well to replace the older “Donovan” irrigation well which is not constructed to newer standards.  TMWA uses wells to supplement Truckee River water supplies during the summer season, when residential irrigation demands are high.  Also, specifically in Spanish Springs, TMWA has had to turn off other wells due to Nitrate contamination; this well will help restore some of that lost capacity.

No.  The water rights dedicated to this well are already committed to existing homes and businesses in Spanish Springs.  New development is required to dedicate Truckee River water rights.

Short term, during the summer, it is possible that nearby domestic well water levels may be affected by up to 5 feet. Over the long term, TMWA will continue to improve the resilience and sustainability of the water supply in Spanish Springs through a practice known as conjunctive use.

TMWA employs a conjunctive use approach when there is adequate surface water supplied by the Truckee River to allow us to rest many of our production wells. Conjunctive use benefits groundwater aquifers in two ways: passive groundwater recharge and active groundwater recharge. Using this approach, TMWA imports treated surface water from the Truckee River into Spanish Springs throughout the year, which reduces demand on groundwater resources.

Active groundwater recharge, also known as aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) is a practice that TMWA has implemented throughout the Truckee Meadows since 1994 to help sustain groundwater levels. During the winter months, when water demands are low, TMWA injects treated surface water from the river into many of our wells, which supplements the natural recharge process.  By following this practice, TMWA can reliably pump groundwater when it’s needed, while at the same time, manage groundwater sustainably over the long term.

Since TMWA took over the water system from Washoe County in 2015, groundwater pumping in Spanish Springs has been reduced by over 50%. As a result, water levels in the vicinity of the Spring Creek well have risen by over 10 feet. Refer to the following two figures.

Click to View Groundwater Levels Near Spring Creek 10 (2006 – 2024)

Click to View Annual Municipal Pumping Rates In the Spanish Springs Valley (2000 – 2023)

The newly drilled Spring Creek 10 well, replacing the Donovan Well, will be permitted to pump 204 acre-feet (AF) of water annually. TMWA only expects to pump 110 AF annually.

Yes.  TMWA will equip this well for ASR, and we plan to recharge essentially the same amount of water that we use in the summer to sustain groundwater levels.


Please send questions or comments regarding this project to tmwaWells@tmwa.com