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: 52
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
Date published: June 27, 2017
Status: Active

Measurements of Stream Discharge and Analysis of Surface Water/Groundwater Interactions in Las Vegas Wash, Las Vegas, NV

The Black Mountain Industrial (BMI) complex, in Henderson, Nevada, has been the site of industrial chemical production since 1942. Perchlorate contaminants, from activities at BMI, have moved through the groundwater system and have been discovered in the Las Vegas Wash, prompting water resource investigations and groundwater treatment by the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP)....

Contacts: Jon Wilson
Date published: June 26, 2017
Status: Completed

Evaluation of Black Rock Desert National Conservation Area

Minimal hydrologic data are available for the Black Rock National Conservation Area (BRNCA). USGS scientists collected baseline spring flow, groundwater level, and precipitation data to support concurrent ecological studies of perennial springs in the BRNCA by the Desert Research Institute.  The collection of baseline hydrologic data is the initial step for determining how ecosystems in the...

Contacts: David W Smith
Date published: June 26, 2017
Status: Active

Water for the Seasons

Water for the Seasons (WftS) is a four year study funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. WtfS uses the Truckee-Carson River System (TCRS) as a pilot study to learn how to best link science with decision-making in snow-fed arid-land...

Date published: June 8, 2017
Status: Active

Evaluation of Groundwater Flow in the Middle Carson River Basin, Eagle, Dayton, and Churchill Valleys, Nevada

Demand for water resources in the Carson River basin is increasing due to steady population growth and the resulting development and changes in land and water use throughout the middle part of the basin.  Agricultural land is being urbanized while land not previously irrigated may be converted for agricultural use.  

Contacts: Eric Morway
Date published: June 8, 2017
Status: Active

Delineation of Flood-Inundation Areas in Grapevine Canyon near Scotty’s Castle, Death Valley National Park, California

On October 18, 2015 an intense, nearly stationary, thunderstorm triggered flooding in Grapevine Canyon. Grapevine Canyon Road, power and water infrastructure, and several buildings at Scotty’s Castle were damaged by the flood water, necessitating closure of the area to the public. In response to the flood event, the National Park Service requested the USGS Nevada Water Science Center perform a...

Date published: June 5, 2017
Status: Active

Amargosa Integrated Monitoring Network

The National Park Service, Nye County, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and USGS Nevada Water Science Center (NVWSC) have established a water-level and spring discharge monitoring network in the southern Amargosa Desert to identify long-term trends and monitor potential impacts of activities on groundwater resources. The Amargosa Integrated Monitoring Network (AIMN) continues the long-term...

Contacts: Jon Wilson
Date published: June 2, 2017
Status: Active

Groundwater Discharge by Evapotranspiration from Areas of Spring-Fed Riparian Vegetation, Stump Spring and Hiko Springs, Nev.

Stump Spring has been designated as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and Hiko Springs currently is in the designation process. Both springs flow intermittently in drainages where the depth to groundwater is shallow. The shallow groundwater flowing to and from the springs sustain scarce desert riparian habitats. BLM has recognized a need for...

Contacts: Michael Moreo
Date published: May 26, 2017
Status: Active

Evaporation from Lake Mead and Lake Mohave, Lower Colorado River Basin, Nevada and Arizona

The Bureau of Reclamation currently operates a model that projects future Colorado River reservoir volumes and potential dam operations based on current and forecasted hydrologic conditions, and operational policies and guidelines (the 24-Month Study). Each month a water budget is developed and Colorado River reservoir...

Contacts: Michael Moreo
Date published: May 26, 2017
Status: Active

Estimating Annual Groundwater Discharge by Evapotranspiration Along the Wild and Scenic Portion of the Amargosa River

The USGS Nevada Water Science Center is refining estimates of annual groundwater discharge along the Wild and Scenic portion of the Amargosa River (AWSR) and adjacent spring discharge areas. Discharge estimates will be based on evapotranspiration (ET) measurements made along the Amargosa River during a 2-year period, previous estimates of evapotranspiration rates, and remote sensing techniques...

Contacts: Michael Pavelko