What is OCAP?

Operating Criteria and Procedures (OCAP) is a regulation developed in compliance with Federal law that governs diversions to the Newlands Project from the Truckee River. The initial OCAP was put into place in 1967 and has been revised through the years at various times, with the current version being the 1997 Adjusted OCAP. The purpose of OCAP is to maximize use of the Carson River and minimize use of the Truckee River for Newlands Project irrigation. OCAP does not limit storage in Lahontan Reservoir.

Under OCAP, each month Reclamation reviews the amount of water stored in Lahontan Reservoir, estimates the amount of Carson River water that will be available to Lahontan Reservoir, and uses that information to calculate the supplemental amount that may be diverted from the Truckee River, if any is needed, to meet the water requirements of the Newlands Project for that irrigation season. On average, the Truckee River provides approximately 20 percent of the Carson Division water supply. The actual percentage varies from year to year depending upon the availability of water in the Truckee-Carson River system.

OCAP also encourages efficient operation of the canal system and delivery of water to the water-righted users by providing efficiency incentives to TCID.