- Associated Press - Saturday, June 6, 2015

RENO, Nev. (AP) - The drought is prompting the temporary closure of the Reno area’s most popular dog park beginning Monday.

Washoe County officials say the pasture at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park in Reno is being closed for the summer and possibly into the fall and winter due to a lack of irrigation water.

Because of the Truckee River’s low flows, the federal water master has been forced to shut off a ditch that feeds the pasture with water.

It’s common for pastures to go dormant during the summer and come back strong in the spring.

But county officials say the added stress of thousands of people and dogs on the dormant grass, along with urine that can’t be diluted by irrigation water, could cause long-term damage to the pasture.

The reopening date depends on the water situation.

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