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Data network, collection, and analysis in the Diamond Valley flow system, central Nevada

April 30, 2011

Future groundwater development and its effect on future municipal, irrigation, and alternative energy uses in the Diamond Valley flow system are of concern for officials in Eureka County, Nevada. To provide a better understanding of the groundwater resources, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with Eureka County, commenced a multi-phase study of the Diamond Valley flow system in 2005. Groundwater development primarily in southern Diamond Valley has resulted in water-level declines since the 1960s ranging from less than 5 to 100 feet. Groundwater resources in the Diamond Valley flow system outside of southern Diamond Valley have been relatively undeveloped.

Data collected during phase 2 of the study (2006-09) included micrometeorological data at 4 evapotranspiration stations, 3 located in natural vegetation and 1 located in an agricultural field; groundwater levels in 95 wells; water-quality constituents in aquifers and springs at 21 locations; lithologic information from 7 recently drilled wells; and geophysical logs from 3 well sites. This report describes what was accomplished during phase 2 of the study, provides the data collected, and presents the approaches to strengthen relations between evapotranspiration rates measured at micrometeorological stations and spatially distributed groundwater discharge. This report also presents the approach to improve delineation of areas of groundwater discharge and describes the current methodology used to improve the accuracy of spatially distributed groundwater discharge rates in the Diamond Valley flow system.