An appraisal of the water resources of the Walker River Indian Reservation, Nevada

Open-File Report 80-427




Increasing interest in expanding the livestock and agricultural operations on the Walker River Indian Reservation, Nev., has prompted the Walker River Paiute Tribe to have the present and available water resources of the reservation appraised and proposed sites for new wells evaluated. Flow of the Walker River into the reservation averages about 113,000 acre-feet a year. Of this amount, about 42,000 acre-feet is used on the reservation, recharging the gound-water system and supplying irrigation water for alfalfa and pasture crops. The water quality of the river water is well suited for these purposes, and the possibility of expanding surface-water use exists. A mathematical model of the ground-water system was constructed to test various assumptions about recharge and discharge rates. The model generated water-level contours that agreed reasonably well with measured water levels, median deviation was 12 feet. With additional data , the model could be used in the future to test the feasibility of evapotranspiration salvage at the seven proposed sites for new stock and irrigation wells. The primary users of ground water on the reservation are phreatophytes and playa surfaces. They allow ground water to be lost to evaporation. About 19,000 acre-feet per year is lost through this mechanism. Domestic and livestock uses account for only about 250 acre-feet per year. Total recharge to the ground-water system amounts to about 30 ,000 acre-feet per year, and the possibility of more extensive use of ground water on the reservation exists. Quality of the ground water in most areas is suitable for all intended purposes. (USGS)

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
An appraisal of the water resources of the Walker River Indian Reservation, Nevada
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey,
65 p. ill., maps ;28 cm.