Nevada Water Science Center

Water Data

Nevada is the most arid state in the Nation, receiving as little as 3 inches of annual precipitation in some parts of the state, while total statewide annual precipitation measures less than 10 inches. Consequently, Nevada only has large streams but no large rivers and only a few large lakes. Water resources throughout the State are limited making data about streams and lakes extremely important.

Filter Total Items: 20
Date published: October 2, 2020
Status: Active

Quantifying watershed controls on fine sediment particles and nutrient loading to Lake Tahoe using data mining and machine learning

Since the late 1980’s, the USGS has collected discharge, sediment, and water quality data at seven major drainages under the Lake Tahoe Interagency Monitoring Program (LTIMP). Recently, continuous, real-time measurements of turbidity were added to the LTIMP. These data can be combined with in situ, model simulations, and remotely-sensed datasets available from the USGS, National Aeronautics...

Date published: May 8, 2020
Status: Active

Nutrient Source Identification in Groundwater and Periphyton Along the Nearshore of Lake Tahoe

High concentrations of phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) are responsible for excessive, or nuisance algal blooms in many ecosystems world-wide, and climate change is predicted to exacerbate the problem1,2. Excessive nutrients supplied to the nearshore zone of Lake Tahoe may have significant consequences to ecological communities, water clarity, and water quality. The nearshore zone...

Contacts: Ramon C Naranjo
Date published: July 17, 2018
Status: Active

Evaluating Potential Refugia for the Endangered Mohave Tui Chub

The USGS Nevada Water Science Center (NVWSC), in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS), is evaluating and monitoring the basic water quality and sediment chemistry of two proposed refugia and three established habitats for the endangered Mohave Tui Chub over the course of the year. NVWSC will also compare and evaluate findings to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency screening levels...

Contacts: Katherine Earp
Date published: April 25, 2018
Status: Active

Evaluation of water-level decline and aquifer properties in the Virginia City Highlands and Highland Ranches Volcanic Rock aquifer system, Storey County, Nevada

The Virginia City Highlands and Highland Ranches (VC Highlands) are a rural residential housing area established along the ridge of the Virginia Range in Storey County, Nevada. Approximately 1,400 residents exclusively rely on domestic wells for water supply and domestic well depths range from 75 to 1,175 ft below land surface. NVWSC monitors water levels annually in two domestic wells in the...

Contacts: David W Smith
Date published: December 21, 2017
Status: Active

Quantifying Seepage Losses on the Truckee Canal, Derby Dam to Lahontan Reservoir

Seepage losses from the Truckee Canal poses major challenges to water managers. Seepage losses result in inefficiencies in water delivery and cause more water than is needed by farmers to be diverted from the Truckee River to meet required demands. Increased diversions from the Truckee River result in less water flowing through the lower Truckee River system and into Pyramid Lake, a terminal...

Contacts: Ramon C Naranjo
Date published: December 19, 2017

Near-Continuous Depth-Dependent Water-Quality Data from Automatic Profiling Systems and Meteorological Data, Lakes Mead and Mohave, Arizona and Nevada, USA

The Colorado River is one of the most intensely used rivers in the western United States, providing recreational watercraft activities and domestic drinking, industrial, and irrigation water for over 22 million users in the desert southwest. The quality of this water must be maintained to guarantee a reliable and safe resource for its many uses. The Colorado River provides an estimated 97...

Contacts: Erin Orozco
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: Megan Poff
Date published: December 5, 2017
Status: Active

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...

Contacts: Kip Allander
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