The Truckee-Carson-Pyramid Lake Water Rights Settlement Act of 1990 directed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to acquire water rights for wetland areas in the Carson Desert, Nevada. The public is concerned that htis acquisition of water rights and delivery of the water directly to wildlife areas would result in less recharge to the shallow ground water in the Fallon area and cause domestic wells to go dry. In January 1992, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, began a study of the shallow ground-water system in the Fallon area in Churchill County, Nevada. A network of 126 wells in the study area was monitored. Between January and November 1992, water levels in most wells declined, usually less than 2 feet. The maximum measured decline over this period was 2.68 feet in a well near Stillwater Marsh. Between April and July, however, water levels rose in irrigated areas, typically 1 to 2 feet. Newlands Project water deliveries to the study area began soon after the turn of the century. Since then, water levels have risen more than 15 feet across much of the study area. Water lost from unlined irrigtiaon canals caused the stage in Big Soda Lake to rise nearly 60 feet; ground-water levels near the lake have risen 30 to 40 feet. The depth to water in most irrigated areas is now less than 10 feet. The altitude of the water table ranges from 4.025 feet above sea level 11 miles west of Fallon to 3,865 feet in the Stillwater Marsh area. Ground water flows eastward and divides; some flow goes to the northeast toward the Carson Sink and Stillwater areas, and some goes southeastward to Carson Lake.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Water-level changes and directions of ground-water flow in the shallow aquifer, Fallon area, Churchill County, Nevada
Water-Resources Investigations Report
U.S. Geological Survey ;
Earth Science Information Center, Open-File Reports Services [distributor],
iv, 74 p. :ill., maps (one col.) ;28 cm. [PGS - 78 p.]