A new federal study takes an in-depth look at how climate change will affect the Truckee River Basin. The Basin includes the Truckee and Carson Rivers, Pyramid Lake and Lake Tahoe.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation study says temperatures are expected to increase up to 5 degrees by the end of the 21st century. Arlan Nickel with the Bureau says precipitation will change from snow to rain and reservoirs will have to operate differently.
"That causes immediate runoff so that storage is not occurring. So the implications are that the reservoirs will fill earlier and may have to be released earlier,” Nickel explains.
Warming temperatures will accelerate evaporation of Lake Tahoe. The study also found that the frequency and magnitude of floods will increase. The number of less intense floods is expected to rise as much as 20 percent by 2050.