To better understand and evaluate regional ground-water flow systems in Nevada, and initiate long-term studies of potential impacts from future ground-water pumping, Federal legislation was enacted in December 2004 (Section 131 of the Lincoln County Conservation, Recreation, and Development Act of 2004; short title, Lincoln County Land Act) that states,
“The Secretary, acting through the United States Geological Survey, the Desert Research Institute, and a designee from the State of Utah shall conduct a study to investigate ground water quantity, quality, and flow characteristics in the deep carbonate and alluvial aquifers of White Pine County, Nevada, and any groundwater basins that are located in White Pine County, Nevada, or Lincoln County, Nevada, and adjacent areas in Utah.”
In response to the Lincoln County Land Act, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the
Desert Research Institute (DRI) and the Utah State
Engineers Office, identified the following objectives:
• Evaluate geohydrologic characteristics within the study area including the extent, thickness, and
hydrologic properties of aquifers; volume and quality of water stored in aquifers; delineation of subsurface geologic structures controlling ground-water flow; ground-water flow direction and gradients; distribution of recharge and discharge areas; and representative rates of recharge and discharge.
• Integrate geologic, hydrologic, and geochemical information to determine basin and regional ground-water budgets.
• Synthesize and evaluate all geohydrologic data to develop a three-dimensional conceptual description of the ground-water flow system. These data will be used to create a unified data-collection network for the study area.
Study objectives are designed to be worked on simultaneously and to provide specific information needed to quantify basin ground-water budgets and to develop an improved understanding of regional ground-water flow.
To accomplish the objectives of this study, participants from the USGS Water Science Centers in Nevada and Utah, and the Geology Science Centers in Denver and Menlo Park; DRI in Reno and Las Vegas; and the Utah State Engineers Office, will work cooperatively on separate but coordinated tasks.