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: 51
Date published: May 3, 2017
Status: Active

Chemical Quality of Water Deliveries to Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada

The ecosystems of Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge (SNWR) are critical habitat for migratory birds. Increased irrigation efficiencies have reduced the amount of fresh water delivered to the wetlands, leading Congress to include provisions in the 1990 Truckee-Carson-Pyramid Lake Water Rights Settlement Act to assist with wetland restoration and maintenance. The Secretary of the Interior has...

Contacts: Carl Thodal
Date published: April 27, 2017
Status: Completed

Groundwater Discharge by Evapotranspiration, Flow of Water in Unsaturated Soil, and Stable Isotope Water Sourcing in Areas of Sparse Vegetation, Amargosa Desert, Nye County, Nevada

The USGS conducted a study to evaluate the potential for groundwater discharge from sparsely vegetated areas in the Amargosa Desert. The study objectives were to: (1) compute groundwater discharge based on evapotranspiration and precipitation measurements at instrumented sites, and (2) improve understanding of hydrologic-continuum processes controlling groundwater discharge through analysis of...

Contacts: Michael Moreo
Date published: April 27, 2017

Evaluation of Groundwater Flow in the Southern Part of the Amargosa Desert, Nevada and California

Since the original publication of the Death Valley regional groundwater flow system (DVRFS) numerical model in 2004, more information on the regional groundwater flow system in the form of new data and interpretations has been compiled. Cooperators such as the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of Energy, and Nye County, Nevada,...

Contacts: Wayne Belcher
Date published: April 20, 2017
Status: Active

Monitoring Hydrogeologic Conditions in the Regional Carbonate Aquifer, Clark County, Nevada

The USGS Nevada Water Science Center is evaluating and enhancing our current understanding of the hydrologic condition of the regional groundwater flow system in Clark County, Nevada. In order to achieve this objective, monitoring wells were installed in consolidated bedrock in six select regions throughout Clark County. Water-level, elevation, and borehole geophysical data were synthesized...

Contacts: Jon Wilson
Date published: April 19, 2017
Status: Active

Water Quality of Springs in the Spring Mountains

The USGS Nevada Water Science Center, in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management, is sampling and analyzing water from Grapevine, Kiup, and Rainbow Springs to determine the source of water to these springs. These Springs, located in the Spring Mountains in southern Nevada, provide habitat for endangered spring snail species including the southeast Nevada Pyrg (Pyrgulopsis turbatrix) and...

Contacts: Sara Gedo
Date published: April 19, 2017
Status: Active

Hydraulic Characterization of Aquifers near Long Canyon, Nevada

USGS scientists are characterizing hydraulic connectivity and bulk hydraulic properties of carbonate-rock and basin-fill aquifers in the vicinity of and downgradient from the Long Canyon Mine Project area in Goshute Valley, Nev., to better understand groundwater-flow paths and evaluate pumping effects on the hydrologic system. The Long Canyon Mine Project requires groundwater pumping from the...

Date published: April 13, 2017
Status: Active

Effects of Groundwater Withdrawals, Tracy Segment

The USGS Nevada Water Science Center began an investigation in 2010 to quantify hydrologic effects of groundwater withdrawals on Truckee River streamflow in the Tracy Segment hydrographic area, Storey, Washoe and Lyon Counties, Nevada. Groundwater gradients have been monitored at sites near pumping wells and the river. Water-level fluctuations resulting from local pumping are interpreted with...

Date published: April 13, 2017
Status: Completed

Nevada Flood Chronology

The lowest annual average precipitation and one of the fastest growing populations in the United States contribute to a tendency for both the general public and land-use planners to underestimate flood hazards in Nevada, despite historical evidence of frequent flooding.

Contacts: Toby Welborn
Date published: April 5, 2017
Status: Completed

Spring Valley-Snake Valley Aquifers

Supplementary water supplies are needed for a rapidly growing population in southern Nevada. Ground-water resources from basin-fill and consolidated rock aquifers in southern Spring and Snake valleys in eastern Nevada have been identified as a potential water-supply source. These aquifers provide water to springs, streams, wetlands, limestone caves, and other biologically sensitive areas on...

Contacts: Philip Gardner
Date published: April 5, 2017
Status: Completed

Delineation of Vegetation Using Satellite Imagery, Clark County

In 2006, USGS, in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), began a 4-year study of the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area (NCA) to produce a land-cover data set from DigitalGlobe’s QuickBird high-resolution (2.4-meter) satellite imagery and field vegetation data. In 2010, the study was extended to include the Clark County portion of Mormon Mesa, and Coyote Springs and...

Contacts: Nancy Damar
Date published: April 3, 2017
Status: Active

Occurrence and Mobility of Arsenic in Groundwater Used for Public Supply in Southern Carson Valley, Douglas County, Nevada

Over the past 15 years, Douglas County, Nev., has removed production wells in northern Carson Valley from use due to relatively high arsenic concentrations.  To maintain the supply of water to the public, the town of Minden has been providing water to Douglas County and Carson City.  Due to the projected increases in municipal demand, water resource managers are concerned that increasing...

Date published: March 27, 2017
Status: Active

Evaluating Artificial Storage and Recovery Potential of Bedell Flat, Washoe County, Nevada

Truckee Meadows Water Authority (TMWA) is a public water purveyor in northwest Nevada with responsibility for providing water to approximately 385,000 people in the Reno/Sparks metropolitan area and suburban communities north of Reno. TMWA has a conjunctive use strategy, which includes aquifer storage and recovery (ASR), to both maintain the health of local aquifers and supplement limited...

Contacts: Ramon C Naranjo