Nevada Water Science Center

Hydrologic Research

The NVWSC scientists are developing state-of-the-art methods for water quantity and quality assessments, predictive hydrologic models that are key to evaluating future responses of the water cycle to climate change, water resource assessments instrumental to policy makers for clearly weighing the competing energy alternatives and evaluating the environmental cost for energy development, and water-quality monitoring to detect emerging and other drinking-water contaminants that pose a risk to public health.

Filter Total Items: 49
Date published: December 18, 2017
Status: Completed

Lake Tahoe Nearshore Periphyton Study

Periphyton, a type of algae, is growing on bottom sediment and rocks along nearshore areas of Lake Tahoe. Periphyton is seen as a nuisance and negatively impacts the recreational value of the lake. Periphyton biomass (PB) data collected along the nearshore of Lake Tahoe exhibit increasing trends over the last decade. However, the mechanisms that have caused these changes are not well...

Contacts: Ramon C Naranjo
Date published: December 18, 2017
Status: Active

Hydrology of the Walker River Basin

Walker Lake is one of the few perennial, natural terminal lakes in the Great Basin.  The ecosystems and recreational uses of Walker Lake and other terminal lakes in the Great Basin have become at-risk due to consumptive water use. 

Contacts: Kip Allander
Date published: December 18, 2017

Aquifer Tests in Nevada

Many aquifer tests have been conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey to estimate hydraulic properties of aquifers in Nevada and adjacent states. Transmissivity is the principal hydraulic property that has been estimated from the aquifer tests in Nevada because these values directly affect estimates of ground-water flow.

Contacts: Philip Gardner
Date published: December 18, 2017

Evapotranspiration Studies in Nevada

Evapotranspiration (ET) is the process that transfers water from land surface to the atmosphere as evaporation (or sublimation when below freezing) from open water, soil, and plant canopies and as transpiration by plants. ET is measured by scientists for many different reasons. Hydrologists from the Nevada Water Scientist Center (NVWSC) typically measure ET to help quantify water budgets....

Contacts: Michael Moreo
Date published: December 6, 2017
Status: Active

Floods in Nevada

For more than 100 years, the USGS has played a critical role in reducing flood losses by operating a nationwide streamgage network that monitors the water level and flow of the Nation's rivers and streams. Through satellite and computer technology, streamgages transmit real-time information, which the National Weather Service (NWS) uses to issue flood warnings.

Contacts: Steven Berris
Date published: December 5, 2017

Science in the Colorado River Basin

The Colorado River is one of the longest rivers in the Western United States. It begins in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and flows southwestward until it reaches Mexico where it becomes a small stream or dry riverbed. The Colorado River forms the border between southeastern Nevada and northwestern Arizona. In Nevada, Hoover Dam and Davis Dam control the flow of the river and create two...

Date published: December 1, 2017
Status: Active

Science in the Walker River Basin

The Walker River begins in the Sierra Nevada as the East Walker River and the West Walker River. In Mason Valley, just south of Yerington, Nev., the rivers converge to create the the Walker River. The Walker River terminates in Walker Lake.

Date published: December 1, 2017
Status: Active

Science in the Truckee River Basin

The Truckee River flows for 120 miles from the outlet of Lake Tahoe in California, into Nevada, through the city of Reno, until it terminates at Pyramid Lake and is the only source of surface-water outflow from Lake Tahoe. The majority of the streamflow in the Truckee River comes from the Sierra Nevada snowpack. Contributions to the river in Nevada are small due to the Sierra Nevada’s “rain...

Date published: November 30, 2017
Status: Completed

Water Resources of the Upper Humboldt River Basin

Elko County officials and citizens are concerned about growing demand for groundwater within the county and demands for groundwater that are occurring elsewhere in the state. Because the Humboldt River is fully appropriated, any additional water needed to support growth in the upper Humboldt River Basin will have to come from groundwater. County and state water-resource managers need...

Contacts: David Berger
Date published: November 30, 2017
Status: Active

Science in the Humboldt River Basin

The Humboldt River is in north-central Nevada. The river is about 330 miles long and provides water for mostly agricultural purposes. One of the largest industries in Nevada is gold mining and the majority of those mines are in the Humboldt River Basin on the Carlin Trend. Gold mines in Nevada produce close to 80 percent of all the gold in the U.S. and are the 4th largest in the world. In 2010...

Contacts: Kip Allander
Date published: November 29, 2017
Status: Active

Science in the Carson River Basin

The Carson River begins in the Sierra Nevada as the East Fork and West Fork of the Carson River. These two forks come together in the Carson Valley, not far from Carson City, Nev. The river then flows through the Carson River Basin until its terminus at the Carson Sink. The Carson RIver is a popular recreation spot with rafters, hikers, and fishermen.

Contacts: Kip Allander
Date published: October 11, 2017
Status: Active

Drought in Nevada

Ongoing drought, in Nevada and across the West, will require scientists to develop new ideas and techniques for measuring, monitoring, modeling, and managing water resources. NVWSC has the capabilities to meet these challenges with our extensive scientific expertise in data collection, modeling, and research. We also are creating new ways to provide data to the public and stakeholders through...

Contacts: David Berger