What is Derby Dam?

Derby Dam is a diversion dam on the Truckee River, located between Reno and Fernley in Storey and Washoe counties in the U.S. state of Nevada. It diverts water that would otherwise feed Pyramid Lake into the Carson River watershed for irrigation use. It is operated by the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District. The dam was named after the Derby Southern Pacific Railroad station.

The project was authorized by Ethan A. Hitchcock and built in 1903 as U.S Reclamation Project #1, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 as the “Derby Diversion Dam.”


The dam was constructed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation following an authorization for construction issued on March 14, 1903. Construction commenced on October 2, 1903 and was completed on May 20, 1905.

Link to NPS.gov article on Derby Dam.