Truckee River Surface Water Market Indicator: Expect prices to drop

 (Revised 2/13/15) 

Read Historical Background

Prices for Truckee River surface water rights were at $7,660/AF in 2013, continuing their decline from the all-time high of $32,848/AF in the first half of 2006.  Before the run-up in 2005 and 2006, prices were at $5,264/AF had only changed incrementally.

Activity picked up in 2013, with 96.62 AF dedicated in the first half of the year and 276.8 AF dedicated in the second half of the year after seeing only nominal activity since the second half of 2010, when only 40.7 AF were dedicated, the second lowest volume on record.  The all-time highest level of activity came in second half of 2005 when nearly 5,000 AF traded.

Truckee chart 2014-04 (revised)

A demand for water rights driven by a growth boom ran up prices and activity in 2005 and 2006, but like with much of the west, the development market in northern Nevada receded during the economic turndown and has been recovering slowing.  Housing activity and related water rights sales are still slow.  Expect activity to remain low and prices to drop further, as indicated by a recent appraisal in the area.

Written by Marta L. Weismann

Editor’s note:  This analysis was revised on 2/13/15 after receiving revised data from Truckee Meadows Water Authority.