Nevada Water Science Center


Groundwater is under the Earth's surface filling voids or openings in rocks and sediment (aquifers). In states like Nevada, where precipitation is minimal, groundwater is an important source of water for many uses especially household, municipal, and agricultural use.

Basin and Range Aquifers

Groundwater in Nevada principally occurs within “Basin and Range aquifers”. The aquifers are formed of volcanic rocks, carbonate rocks, or unconsolidated to consolidated basin-fill deposits. The basin-fill deposits form the most productive aquifers and are generally in individual alluvial basins that are drained internally and are separated by low mountains. Practically all precipitation that falls in the Basin and Range Province is returned to the atmosphere by evapotranspiration, either directly from the soil, or from phreatophytic vegetation or lakes that occupy lower portions of the basins and serve as discharge areas for the alluvial aquifers.

USGS Office of Groundwater maintains a web site with much more information about aquifers throughout the U.S.: Aquifer Basics


The USGS Nevada Water Science Center collects and disseminates a large quantity of groundwater data for Nevada. Depth to groundwater measurements are either made on a continuous basis or as an occasional manual measurement. Continuous data are available from the real-time and daily data links and manual measurements are available from the water levels link. Results from aquifer tests are provided through the Aquifer Test link. Many of the USGS Nevada Water Science Center groundwater investigations directly measure evapotranspiration to estimate groundwater discharge. Evapotranspiration data is provided through the evapotranspiration link.

Real-time Data :: Daily Data :: Water Levels :: Aquifer Hydraulics :: Evapotranspiration

Groundwater Research in Nevada

Amargosa Desert Research Site

Characterizing Local Climate and Soils, Spring Mountain and Sheep Range

Drilling in the Carbonate Aquifer, Clark County

Effects of Groundwater Withdrawals, Tracy Segment

Evaluating Groundwater Discharge Rates, Nye County

Evaluating Source Water and Generalized Flow Paths to Lower Amargosa Valley, California

Evaluation of Black Rock Desert National Conservation Area

Evaluation of Groundwater Flow, Middle Carson River Basin

Groundwater Discharge and Water Quality in Dixie Valley

Groundwater Nitrogen Budget for Carson Valley

Southern Amargosa Embedded Model (SAMM)

Surface-Water/Groundwater Model Development

USGS/U.S. Department of Energy Cooperative Studies

Groundwater Publications

Hydrogeologic Framework and Occurrence and Movement of Ground Water in the Upper Humboldt River Basin, Northeastern Nevada
Update to the Ground-Water Withdrawals Database for the Death Valley Regional Ground-Water Flow System, Nevada and California, 1913-2003; 2008
Selected Ground-Water Data for Yucca Mountain Region, Southern Nevada and Eastern California, January-December 2005
Quantifying Ground-Water and Surface-Water Discharge from Evapotranspiration Processes in 12 Hydrographic Areas of the Colorado Regional Ground-Water Flow System, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona
Hydrologic and Water-Quality Responses in Shallow Ground Water Receiving Stormwater Runoff and Potential Transport of Contaminants to Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada, 2005-07
Analysis of Streamflow Trends, Ground-Water and Surface-Water Interactions, and Water Quality in the Upper Carson River Basin, Nevada and California
Effects of Agriculture and Urbanization on Quality of Shallow Ground Water in the Arid to Semiarid Western United States, 1993-2004
Precipitation and Runoff Simulations of the Carson Range and Pine Nut Mountains, and Updated Estimates of Ground-Water Inflow and the Ground-Water Budgets for Basin-Fill Aquifers of Carson Valley, Douglas County, Nevada, and Alpine County, California
Database of Ground-Water Levels in the Vicinity of Rainier Mesa, Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada, 1957-2005
Ground-Water Modeling of the Death Valley Region, Nevada and California; 2006
Ground-Water Flow Modeling by the U.S. Geological Survey in Nevada: Uses and Approaches
A guide for using the transient ground-water flow model of the Death Valley regional ground-water flow system, Nevada and California
Selected Ground-Water Data for Yucca Mountain Region, Southern Nevada and Eastern California, January-December 2004
MODOPTIM: A general optimization program for ground-water flow model calibration and ground-water management with MODFLOW
Annual ground-water discharge by evapotranspiration from areas of spring-fed riparian vegetation along the eastern margin of Death Valley, 2000-02
Quantification of the contribution of nitrogen from septic tanks to ground water in Spanish Springs Valley, Nevada
Occurrence of anthropogenic organic compounds in ground water and finished water of community water systems in Eagle and Spanish Springs Valleys, Nevada, 2002-2004
Hydrogeologic Framework and Ground Water in Basin-Fill Deposits of the Diamond Valley Flow System, Central Nevada
Ground-water quality in the carbonate-rock aquifer of the Great Basin, Nevada and Utah, 2003

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page Last Modified: July 31, 2014