State conducting annual meter pumpage inventory

The Nevada Division of Water Resources started conducting an annual meter pumpage inventory in Pahrump’s Basin 162 that will continue through January.

The NDWR performs the Pahrump pumpage inventory meter reading, generally run from November through January, and also does a separate summer inspection run to inspect irrigated fields, said John Guillory, supervising engineer at the NDWR.

“We do not have a count of the wells that we have already visited nor the ones we have yet to visit. Our field work should be completed by January,” Guillory said.

The procedure is conducted by reading the totalizing meter on the well that measures the amount of water pumped from the well within the Pahrump hydrographic basin for every well in the basin.

The NDWR has done a pumpage inventory in Pahrump since 1959.

The organization performs pumpage inventories in a number of basins within the state. In Nye County, it also conducts a pumpage inventory in the Amargosa basin.

For the calendar year 2015, the permitted, certificated and claims of vested groundwater rights totaled 52,913 acre-feet, with estimated pumpage of approximately 15,742 acre-feet, according to the NDWR data.

This figure includes an estimated 5,520 acre-feet pumped from exempt domestic wells, the NDWR data showed. Pumping by exempt domestic wells is the largest manner of use within the basin. The second largest manner of use was irrigation, with groundwater rights totaling 12,454 acre-feet and pumpage of 4,477 acre-feet. The third largest manner of use was municipal, with groundwater rights totaling 30,671 acre-feet and pumpage of 3,800 acre-feet.

The NDWR’s mission is to conserve, protect, manage and enhance the Nevada resources through the appropriation and reallocation of the public waters, according to its website.

Also, the organization is responsible for quantifying existing water rights; monitoring water use, distributing water in accordance with court decrees, reviewing water availability for new subdivisions and condominiums, monitoring water resource data and records, and providing technical assistance to the public and governmental agencies.

Contact reporter Daria Sokolova at dsokolova@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @dariasokolova77

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