Energy and Environment

Environmental and energy related news

Amy Westervelt

Donner Lake in Truckee holds some of the largest lake trout in California, but Reno Public Radio’s Amy Westervelt reports that Donner fish might not make for the healthiest meal.

Truckee residents take pride in having their own lake. At only 1.3 square miles compared to Tahoe’s nearly 200, Donner may be small, but the clear, cold lake, ringed by mountains is no less popular for swimming, paddleboarding, and fishing. It also boasts one of just a few sandy stretches in the area.

Julia Ritchey

Although it receives far less attention than Lake Tahoe, Pyramid Lake is one of Nevada's most picturesque desert oasis. But Pyramid faces a number of challenges as a recreational destination, including illegal dumping and increasing salinity levels. Today, as we begin our series called Beyond Tahoe: Exploring Our Waterways, reporter Julia Ritchey travels to Pyramid Lake to tell us its story.

It's a busy weekend at the Pelican boat launch at Pyramid Lake. A line of eager boaters wait to unload pontoons, jet skis and other watercraft at the bottom of the ramp.

Esther Ciammachilli

A team of scientists and business leaders from the Desert Research Institute in Reno is trying to change the way businesses make decisions that may be impacted by extreme weather. Reno Public Radio’s Esther Ciammachilli has more.

On a rainbow-colored map of the Las Vegas Strip, scientist Andrew Joros explains the focus of the new WINDS platform, which stands for Weather Intelligence and Numerical Decision Support

“Let’s say I want a time series of any kind of meteorological variable over the MGM. You can pull it up like this.”

Julia Ritchey

A dozen parks in Reno are now pesticide free. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey reports.

The two-year pilot program will study best methods and cost effective ways to maintain the city's parks without using herbicides and pesticides.

City Council approved the change this week. Councilwoman Naomi Duerr says they decided to pursue the project after hearing from concerned residents. 

The state's drought summit wrapped up Wednesday after three days of in-depth presentations from every type of water stakeholder in Nevada. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss has the details.

There was a lot of talk in Carson City this week about how to better manage, save, share, and measure our water. 

The EPA is announcing updates to smog regulations October 1st, and manufacturers are making one last push against the new rules with an ad campaign running in various Western states. While opponents of the rules are concerned about costs, the EPA says health savings will outweigh them.

Ad: “We import a lot from China: Electronics, toys, and … air pollution?”

Feds: Sage Grouse Does Not Need Endangered Listing

Sep 22, 2015
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

  The U.S. Interior Department says the greater sage grouse does not need federal protections across its 11-state Western range, which includes Nevada. Many say the agency has struck a balance in protecting the bird without hindering economic development, but not all Nevada officials agree. Reno Public Radio’s Julia Ritchey reports.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell says an unprecedented conservation effort protecting more than 67 million acres of land will greatly reduce threats to the greater sage-grouse and its breeding habitats. 

Julia Ritchey

For the first time in state history, Nevada water officials are preparing to restrict groundwater pumping for the Smith and Mason valleys. Farmers and ranchers there are already operating on thin margins because of the drought. Our reporter Julia Ritchey visited the agricultural community of Yerington to see how one farmer is coping.

"We'll start here; it's as a good as anywhere. You'll be able to see, like mine,  I have fields that have nothing growing just basically weeds because of no water... It’s basically fallowed because you can’t irrigate it."


We all know snowfall in the Sierras has been light in recent years, but new research reveals that 2015 marked a 500-year-low for snowpack in the region.

Julia Ritchey

  Water conservation dipped last month, according to new numbers from the Truckee Meadows Water Authority. As Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey reports, the reduction fell just shy of their goal.

Residents reduced their water usage by nine percent last month. That's a little short of the utility's voluntary reduction target of 10 percent — and the first month since May that customers didn't exceed TMWA’s goal.

Bill Hauck is a senior hydrologist at the authority. He says even after the hot, dry months are over, users should continue to cut back.