Science in the Walker River Basin

Science Center Objects

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.

Map of the Walker River Basin

Map of the Walker River Basin. (Public domain.)

Walker Lake is a terminal lake, meaning that the lake has no water that flows out from it. Since 1882, the level of Walker Lake has declined more than 150 feet. This decline in lake level has caused an increase in dissolved solids making the lake much more saline. The rise in salinity has made it difficult for fish and other wildlife to survive in the Walker River Basin.

Walker River and Lake are in the Walker River Basin (hydrographic region 9). The Walker River Basin is about 3,000 square miles and includes 7 hydrographic areas: Antelope Valley, Smith Valley, Mason Valley, East Walker Area, Walker Lake Valley/Schurz subarea, Walker Lake Valley/Lake subarea, and Walker Lake Valley/Whiskey Flat-Hawthorne subarea.

USGS Nevada Water Science Center maintains more than 32 real-time streamflow gages on the Walker River. The Wabuska gage, in particular, has been operating continuously since 1945.



Real-Time Streamflow :: Daily Values :: Peak-Flow :: Water Quality



Hydrology of the Walker River Basin

For more information, contact Kip Allander

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. USGS provides scientifically sound data and investigative studies in the Walker River Basin so stakeholders can evaluate alternatives for supplementing flow to Walker Lake while maintaining a healthy agricultural economy.

Visit the web site: Hydrology of the Walker River Basin


Walker Basin Hydro Mapper

For more information, contact Sonya Vasquez

This mapping application provides a basin-wide perspective of real-time streamflow and lake and reservoir storage capacity and stage for the Walker River Basin in Nevada and California. The Hydro Mapper also provides access to historic streamflow, and lake and reservoir data. This tool was developed to create a common operating picture for water users in the Walker Basin and to help monitor changes to instream flows associated with the Walker Basin Restoration Program.

Visit the web site: Walker Basin Hydro Mapper



If you would like information about completed studies, please email the NVWSC at GS-W-NVpublic-info@ or visit the Hydrology of the Walker River Basin web site.

Walker Lake, Nevada

Walker Lake, Nevada. (Public domain.)