Simulated effects of proposed ground-water pumping in 17 basins of east-central and southern Nevada

Water-Resources Investigations Report 95-4173




The Las Vegas Valley Water District filed 146 applications in 1989 to pump about 180,800 acre- ft/yr in 17 basins for use in Las Vegas Valley. A previously constructed, two-layer computer model of the carbonate-rock province area was configured to simulate transient conditions and used to develop first approximations of the possible effects of these withdrawals. Simulations were made using the phased pumping schedule proposed by the water district. Ground-water-level declines of several hundred feet could ultimately develop in the basins scheduled to supply most of the pumped ground water. Simulated declines in the carbonate-rock aquifer were somewhat larger than simulated declines in the overlying basin-fill deposits. Decreases in simulated regional spring flow were shown in several cells including those representing the Muddy River Springs, Hiko-Crystal-Ash spring area, and the Ash Meadows spring area. Model simulations show flow decreases of about 11 percent, 14 percent, and 2 percent, respectively, at these springs after almost 100 years of pumping. Simulated evapotranspiration also decreased in many basins, with the largest decreases occurring in the basins where ground-water withdrawals were greatest. These basins include Railroad, Spring, and Snake Valleys. The largest decrease in simulated evapotranspiration occurred in Railroad Valley, 64 percent after almost 100 years of pumpage. Model-sensitivity tests indicate that long-term results were relatively insensitive to variations in values used for aquifer storage. The adequacy of the model to simulate the effects of this proposed pumping will remain untested until actual pumping stresses have been in place long enough to cause measurable effects within the system.

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Simulated effects of proposed ground-water pumping in 17 basins of east-central and southern Nevada
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey ; U.S.G.S. Information Services [distributor],
iv, 71 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.