Studies of published and unpublished geologic, hydrologic, and chemical-quality data for ground and surface water in central Nevada, Tps. 1 to 21 N. and Rs. 41 to 57 E., Mount Diablo base and meridian, reveal the following information:
Rocks exposed in central Nevada are of sedimentary and igneous origin and range in age from Cambrian to Recent. Rocks of Paleozoic age generally are carbonate or clastic, and rocks of Mesozoic age generally are clastic and granitic. Rocks of Tertiary age principally are volcanic, and the valley fill of Quaternary age is alluvial-fan and lake deposits. The rocks are folded, faulted, and highly fractured.
Precipitation is closely related to altitude. In general, as the altitude increases the precipitation increases.
Most of the streamflow in the valleys originates as snow in the nearby mountains. The streams generally flow only in response to snowmelt and to flash-flood-producing storms.
Important chemical quality characteristics of the ground and surface water in central Nevada are hardness, expressed as CaCO3, generally in excess of 120 ppm, and a dissolved-solids content of less than 500 ppm. The principal chemical types of both ground and surface waters are sodium and calcium bicarbonates.
The major uses of ground water in central Nevada are for irrigation and stock. Frequency of use of wells in decreasing order is: irrigation, stock, domestic, industrial, municipal, and observation. Of the 606 wells tabulated, 29 have multiple uses. Frequency of use of spring water in decreasing order is: stock, irrigation, domestic, and public facilities. Of the 135 springs tabulated, 5 have multiple uses.