Officials who run the Truckee Carson Irrigation District are accused of defrauding the federal government for years so they could deliver more water from Lake Tahoe and the Truckee River to area ranchers and farmers than was rightfully theirs. It is alleged that district officials trained workers how to disable some water meters and manipulate others. The investigation comes after the failure of an earthen canal in northern Nevada that sent flood waters into hundreds of homes in January 2008. The flood triggered dozens of lawsuits from more than 100 homeowners and questions about the amount of water flowing through 370 miles of canals.
Hydrology expert witnesses estimate it would cost $3.1 million to build an 11.7-mile long concrete barrier on the Truckee irrigation canal to protect against another breach. The Bureau of Reclamation estimates that system wide upgrades could cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
More to come from SierraSun.com.