Evaluation of Streamflow Depletion Related to Groundwater Withdrawal, Humboldt River Basin

Science Center Objects

The Humboldt River Basin (HRB) is the only major river basin that is entirely within the State of Nevada. Precipitation supplies all the water that enters the basin; consequently, the variability in climate has significant impacts on the hydrology of the area.

In addition, increased development which has been superimposed on natural climate fluctuations affects the water resources of the basin. Continued groundwater withdrawals within the Humboldt River Basin are likely contributing to streamflow depletion of the Humboldt River. The timing and magnitude of the effects of groundwater withdrawals on streamflow of the Humboldt River are not well understood. 

To evaluate the impacts of groundwater withdrawals on streamflow, three transient, regional-scale flow models will be developed and documented. The three models will represent the upper, middle, and lower Humboldt River Basins, respectively. The middle HRB model will be developed by the USGS; the upper HRB model is being developed separately and simultaneously by the Desert Research Institute (DRI); and the lower HRB model will be co-developed by the USGS and DRI.

Learn more on the Humboldt Depletion Web Site