92°F
weather icon Clear

Study shows diminishing levels in Pahrump Valley

Domestic well owners now can get information on changes in water levels and pumpage across the Pahrump Valley thanks to a few recent studies.

The hydrostratigraphic assessment and climate response studies were conducted by Leising Geoscience and initiated by the Nye County Groundwater Management Plan Advisory Committee to identify areas in the Pahrump Valley where water levels are dropping and possibly try to move pumping to the areas that have more water available.

Joseph Leising, principal at Leising Geoscience, who presented the results of the hydrostratigraphic assessment and climate response evaluation in the Pahrump Valley to the Nye County Water District Governing Board on Monday, said the hydrologic similarity between the Pahrump and Las Vegas Valleys was at the basis of the study.

“Within the (Pahrump) Valley, I looked at the Pahrump sub-basin up in the northern part of the valley, I looked at half of it and estimated the amount of water that is not being recharged based on pumping, based on water changes down below and water assumptions,” Leising said.

According to the study, Pahrump Valley has an estimated recharge of 20,000 acre feet of perennial yield, and the depreciation of water levels occurs in the most populous parts of Pahrump.

While the study showed water declines occur below the areas that are pumped the most, it also identified water resources on Trout and southern Carpenter fans and source areas on Pahrump and possibly Manse fans.

Earlier analysis of 10 years of data from well level measurement throughout the Pahrump Basin showed an overall steady decline of approximately one to two feet per year in water levels in portions of the Pahrump Basin.

“The best fit that I obtained suggests that domestic use in the vicinity of half an acre foot or maybe 27 of an acre foot per year per domestic well,” Leising said.

Nye County Water District Governing Board Chair Greg Dann said the high concentration of water production wells along the Highway 160 corridor contributes to the diminishment of the water farther downstream from the Spring Mountains.

“As far as the domestic well owner, I think there’s sufficient information out there now for the make of proper choice where they want to live and at what depth of water they want to pump up from the ground to their house,” Dann said.

Several Pahrump residents however argued about the efficiency of the assessment.

“In my opinion, and what I would tell anybody is it didn’t do anything to address the water situation,” Pahrump resident Dwight Lilly said.

“There’s one thing that we can utilize this for in a very short-term fashion,” said Nye County Planning Director Darrell Lacy. “We, as a board, are reviewing water rights transfer in a basin today. This is (to) help us to identify basins that are essentially fully appropriate or some basins within the overall basin and we can utilize it if someone wants to make a large move of a water right to an area that’s based on this study doesn’t have the water available to us, then we can count down if you want to use this water … you don’t have to go somewhere other than right here to pump it.”

The study is yet to be finalized, but Dann noted that a further development of the plan would require more funding.

“When he comes back with his final presentation, his final report, and maybe in a binder, that gives everybody up here, seven people here, the staff, the county commissioners, it gives everybody something to go by where they can make appropriate decisions,” he said.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Fearing slaughter of wild horses, lawmakers seek to halt adoption program

Outraged lawmakers are saying a wild horse adoption program should be halted and an investigation should be conducted following a report that some of the horses were sold to buyers and slaughtered for meat.

Nye County green-lights $7.45 million in energy upgrades through performance contract

Following three years of gearing up for a large-scale energy conservation project, Nye County has now entered into a performance contract with Siemens Industry, Inc. that aims to provide an array of upgrades and improvements intended to reduce energy costs.

Pahrump Music Festival declared a huge success

Whenever an organization ventures into putting on a new community event in Pahrump, the outcome of that new endeavor is always up in the air and it is nearly impossible to say just how things will turn out. However, for organizers of the Pahrump Music Festival, there was never any doubt that this event was going to draw a huge crowd and those expectations were borne out this past weekend.

Charity fundraiser set for Sunday

As stated on its social media site, the mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Las Vegas is to create and support programs that directly improve the health, education, and well-being of children in communities throughout the country.

Animal abuse suspect arrested in Nye County

A man traveling to Pahrump from Reno is facing an animal abuse charge following his arrest on Friday, June 4.

Pahrump Valley’s veterans honored at appreciation BBQ

The first weekend of June was a sweltering one, with high temperatures making venturing forth a bit of a daunting task but for many members of the local veteran community and their friends, family and supporters, the weather did not stop them from heading out on Saturday to enjoy a few hours of food, fun and camaraderie during the annual Veterans Appreciation Barbecue.

Most minor traffic violations decriminalized in Nevada

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak on Tuesday signed a bill into law that decriminalizes most minor traffic offenses , classifying them instead as civil infractions.

Bill introduced in Senate to boost tourism sector

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., introduced bipartisan legislation in June that supports the travel and tourism industry.

Accidental overdoses increase in Nevada

Accidental overdoses increased in double-digit percentages in the state through part of 2019 and 2020, according to data released by the state.