Truckee River Surface Water Market Indicator: Will Prices Start to Rise?

Read Historical Background

Prices for Truckee River surface water rights began to creep up in 2014, reaching $7,690/AF in the first half of the year and $7,720/AF in the second half—up from $7,660/AF, where they settled in 2013 after declining 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 and changes were incremental.

Activity continued to increase, with 219.33 AF dedicated in the first half of the year and 331.66 AF in the second half of the year.  2013 saw dedications of 96.62 AF in the first half of the year and 276.8 AF in the second half of the year, after seeing only nominal activity since the second half of 2010, when the second lowest volume on record, 40.7 AF, were dedicated. The all-time highest level of activity came in second half of 2005 when nearly 5,000 AF traded.

Truckee chart (2015-02)

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 downturn.  Will prices and activity rise signaling a return to normal?

Written by Marta L. Weismann