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Water district works on study of water table

The Nye County Water District is working on a time frame that could project when area wells could dry up if overallocation is not curtailed, officials said.

“The goal is to establish a time frame in which significant amounts of domestic wells will dry up and where,” Nye County Water District Governing Board interim General Manager Oz Wichman said.

The study is expected to be finished at the end of the year, officials said.

“This study is still in progress and is not yet ready for public release. Once the study is completed, it will need to go through internal review before it is ready for public release,” Nye County Geoscientist John Klenke said.

The amount of annual recharge in Basin 162 is 20,000 acre feet. Water pumping in the Pahrump Valley hovers around the 14,000-acre-foot mark, which leaves the valley with 6,000 acre feet of additional recharge available for pumping, according to the Nevada Division of Water Resources.

The state of Nevada issued over 60,000 acre feet of water rights for Basin 162. Pahrump has 11,000 domestic wells.

Once finished, the study will be incorporated into the Basin 162 Groundwater Management Plan, Wichman said.

“Within the groundwater management plan, we need to establish a time frame in which we can bring the basin to balance, the measure of annual pumpage versus net recharge,” Wichman said.

The Basin 162 Groundwater Management Plan has two goals, he said. One is to reduce the overallocation, the amount of water rights on the books and to stabilize the water levels in the basin.

Recently, the Nye County Water District Governing Board voted to move forward with the water conservation plan that outlines landscaping, turf and watering restrictions for new construction in Pahrump.

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