iNNOVATE22 Leadership Team

Using the Truckee River Basin learn about rivers and their uses.

Truckee Connects/Cloud Chamber Room

4th Grade

General discription: Provide resources for teaching about rivers. Teachers will learn how to encourage classroom conversations about generic river resources and those specific resources of the Truckee.

Details:  General river resources you can use:

1. Internet

2. Apple apps.

  • Fluid. Touch the screen and see how water moves and looks as it ripples and flows.
  • Where's My Water?  Game that teaches strategies and problem-solving.  Good for group works.
  • The Water Cycle.  Labeling parts of the water cycle on a diagram -- good for primary grades.
  • The River Test. Problem-solving and logic, dealing with rules -- good for grades 4 and up.
  • River Level. Data resource using tables and graphs for finding the river levels in Australia and the U.S. 
  • Ecosystems.  California Science Center's online tour of activities related to learning about  rivers.
  • NASA Visualization Explorer.  Video simulations with animation about water around the world. (no audio)
  • Google Earth. Track the Truckee from Tahoe to Pyramid Lake.


3. Droid apps.


Truckee River Watershed Town Hall Meeting (Role-playing activity) 

  1. Farming/Ranching: Newlands Project, canal system, 
  2. Urban: drinking, washing
  3. Recreation:  kayaking, river walk, wildlife/bird watching, fishing, Oxbow Nature Study Area
  4. Native American:  Cultural,historical, water rights  
  5. Environmental:  Water cycle, living with the river


Cloud Computing




Continue to find apps.

Look for resources that have information regarding topics above.

(Joe)  Farming/Ranching:  

(Pat)   Urban:  

  • NV Energy

(Terra) Native American:


Here is a starting list for outside resources:


 Truckee River Chronology Twentieth Century

     This is a very detailed description of the Truckee River from 1900 to the present. It includes great background material for the teacher, but would need to be edited to the students. (State of Nevada Division of Water Resources)

Pre-twentieth century materials:

Truckee River History

     This is a simplified history of the Truckee River. (State Historic Preservation Office)

Chief Truckee

   Chief Truckee is the namesake of the Truckee River. This web site provides a biography of this Paiute Indian. (Truckee Donner Historical Society)

Newlands Project

Overview of Newlands Project    

     This site includes a list of all structures and their use created by the Newlands project, benefits of the Newlands Project, and the affect on Pyramid Lake and the Native Americans. (U. S. Department of the Interior: Bureau of Reclamation)

Reclamation Act/Newlands Act of 1902

     This primary source is the actual 1902 United States Congressional legislation. (Center for Columbia River History)

The First Five: A Brief History of the Newlands Project[edit]

     This site includes a history of the Truckee-Carson River project. It was one of the first five U. S. Reclamation projects in the United States of America. (

Click here for a short history of the first five projects.

Lower Truckee River Flow Schematic

     Ever wonder where the water from the Truckee River goes? This Schematic shows all of the places water is taken from the river. (State of Nevada Division of Water Resources)

Derby Diversion Dam

     This is a history of the building of the dam as part of the Reclamation Act of 1903. It includes a long description on the negative affect on the local fish population and the efforts to remedy the problem. (National Park Service)

Operating Criteria and Procedures for the Newlands Reclamation Project

     This site talks about current efforts to ensure all entities get their fair share of water. (U. S. Department of the Interior)

Francis Newlands

     This is a short biography of Mr. Newlands. (Biographical Guide of the United States Congress)

This is another short biography of Mr. Newlands. (Wikipedia)


Truckee River Recreation Map

     The Truckee River Recreation Map is a guide to river activities along the Truckee River. The map illustrates all dams, river access, hot fishing spots, parks, drinking water, and telephones from Truckee to Tracy. Points of interest are indicated by mile notations. (TMWA)

Truckee River Watershed Map

     Interactive map of the Truckee River watershed in the Reno area complete with pictures, information on creeks, trails, plants, animals, etc. (City of Reno)

Truckee River Bike Trail

     This web site describes of the bike trail from Lake Tahoe to Squaw Valley. (Trail Link)

Truckee River Whitewater Park

     Find information on the Kayak (raft, tube) run and some information on building the park. (City of Reno)


Lower River Restoration Project

     The McCarran Ranch was the Conservancy’s first restoration project on the lower Truckee River, and the work done there has become a model for how to fix the Truckee.   As the natural communities recover at McCarran Ranch, it is becoming a unique destination in northern Nevada – a place of natural beauty and diversity for animals and people alike. (Nature Conservatory)

Derby Diversion Dam

     This is a history of the building of the dam as part of the Reclamation Act of 1903. It includes a long description on the negative affect on the local fish population and the efforts to remedy the problem. (National Park Service)

McCarran Ranch Preserve

     In an effort to control flooding on the Truckee River, the river became sick. This is an account of what is being done to bring back the local ecosystem to the river. (The Nature Conservancy)

An account of Ranch 102 and the Lockwood:

Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility

     This water treatment plant is one attempt to control the pollution in the Truckee River. (City of Sparks)

Native Americans

Paiute Indians and water litigation

      The Newlands project did not take into account the affect of the project on the Native Americans in the area. This is a history of the litigation between the Paiute Indians and the government. (Don Springmeyer presentation at the 29th annual law conference)

Fighting Nitrogen in the Water

     Nitrogen has adversely affected the waters on the Truckee River and Pyramid Lake. (United States environmental Protection Agency)

Water Quality Program

     The Truckee River empties into Pyramid Lake. The lake is an important historical, religious, and financial center of the Paiute Indians. (Pyramid Lake Paiute Indians)

Lawsuit Settlement

     This is a synopsis of final settlement of the Paiute Indian Tribe’s lawsuit with local and federal governments.

Endangered cui-ui

     Brief description and history the endangered cui-ui fish. (U. S. Fish and Wildlife Department)

Cui-ui Fish

     This is the Wikipedia entry on the cui-ui fish. (Wikipedia)

Research Paper on the Cui-ui

     This is a detailed PDF paper on the cui-ui fish. (U. S. Department of the Interior)


How much water does does Reno take from the Truckee River?

     Complex mapping tool, but really gives a good perspective.  Try ‘Type’ ‘Datatype based’ and then choose ‘Flow’ from ‘Select Datatype.’  Select ‘Truckee River near Truckee’ and ‘Truckee River near Sparks’.  Click ‘Plot in one Graph’ and then click ‘Submit.’  Notice the dramatic difference in water flow after Reno and Sparks have used their share of the water. [Add ‘Truckee River near Nixon’ to see how much water is left to the Native Americans after the rural communities use their share also. (Truckee River Operating Agreement)

Water for Reno and Sparks

     Check out ‘River Flows and Storage’ under ‘Your Water’ to see a simple comparison of water flow, view a video of where our water comes from, etc. (Truckee Meadows Water Authority)

TMWA Academy has lessons for teachers and activities for students.


Fernley, Nevada

     The Fernley, Nevada site clearly shows the impact of the Truckee Canal (water from the Truckee River]. (Fernley web site)

Truckee Canal

     After the flood of 2008, the courts ordered the flow of the Truckee Canal cut in half.  This paper explains the importance of the Truckee Canal to rural Nevada.  (Friends of the Truckee Canal)

Benefits of Irrigation

     70,000 acres of farm land owe their existence to the Newlands Project. Skip to the section on irrigation. (U. S. Department of the Interior)

 KNPB PBS LearningMedia Resources:


     Clouds and Weather     PreK-1      


Learn about different types of clouds and the weather they bring in this stop motion animation.




     Cloud Types                Grades 3-8


In this interactive resource, adapted from NASA's S'COOL Project Tutorial, learn about how clouds are named and identified.



     The Hydrologic Cycle   Grades 3-8


Through five main processes — condensation, precipitation, infiltration, runoff, and transpiration — water is perpetually recycled. In this interactive resource adapted from NASA, explore the steps of the water cycle.



      Water Cycle Animation   Grades K-8



Through the processes of condensation, precipitation, infiltration, runoff, transpiration, and evaporation, water continuously travels from the atmosphere to the ground and back again. In this animation from NASA, observe the steps of the water cycle.



      Biome in a Baggie           Grades 4-6     



In this ZOOMSci video segment, a cast member of ZOOM creates a self-contained biome and explores evaporation, condensation, and precipitation.



       What is a Watershed        Grades  3-8



Large or small, urban or rural, most watersheds have certain attributes in common. This segment from KET’s Raindrops to Rivers uses animation to show the full scope of a watershed from its collection to its final destination.



     Hoover Dam and Hydroelectric Power  Grades 3-12



In this video segment, adapted from Building Big series, host David Macaulay explores Hoover Dam's hydroelectric capabilities.



      Planet H2O           Grades 3-6


In this five part lesson students will discover how water is created in nature and the path it takes to reach our rivers, streams, and taps. Teachers are supplied with video and handouts. Conduct an experiment that simulates the water cycle.