We all live in a watershed, the one for our area (Reno, NV) is the Truckee River
Watershed. A watershed is the land area that drains to a common body of water.
Watersheds provide drinking water, habitats for wildlife, water to grow our food, and
places to recreate such as fishing, swimming, and boating. The Truckee River is the only
outlet of surface water for Lake Tahoe; the river then flows 120 miles where it ends at
Pyramid Lake. Most of the stream flow for the Truckee River comes from snowmelt from
the Sierra Nevada’s. But not all of this snowmelt goes into the river; it is also absorbed
into the ground, this groundwater is called an aquifer. The meadows and forests are also
an important part of the watershed. Meadows help remove pollutants and prevent soil
erosion that interferes with aquatic life. Forests also help prevent soil erosion and absorb
carbon dioxide in the watershed. Our watershed is necessary for us, animals, plants,
and everything else to live here. It is working hard for us so we need to also care for it.
Pollution runoff from fertilizer, oils, road salts, household chemicals, mining materials
and more can enter the watershed. With climate change and the overuse of water
droughts occur in watersheds and can lead to lowering the amount of water in the entire
watershed and the flow of water as well as changing the chemical composition that
supports the life in it. What we can do to help save our watershed is to prevent pollution
in the first place. We can be conscious of where our used water goes and how much we
are using. We are all in this together; let’s show our Truckee River Watershed that we
This blog is managed by the staff and volunteers of Galena Creek Visitor Center. We write about parts of the natural world that we find fascinating and want to teach others about, as well as keeping you updated on the Visitor Center and park. If you want to learn more, please sign up for our monthly newsletter, where we share upcoming events, updates on the ecology of the park, and highlights from each month.