Nevada and Eastern California
PO Box 8096
Reno, NV 89507
Pages updated monthly
of Southeastern Nevada are critical habitat for the Desert Tortoise (D. Ghiglieri]
Groundwater Facts and Factoids
TALKS BY GROUNDWATER EXPERT
Groundwater expert, Tom Meyers, was the featured speaker at workshops
(2004) in Las Vegas, Reno, and Ely. Dr. Myers was sponsored by
the Nevada Ad Hoc Water Network, Progressive Leadership Alliance, and
the Chapter. Dr. Myers took his audience through the basics of
groundwater aquifers and underground water flows explaining how rain
and snow recharge an underground aquifer as well as how water in an
aquifer can supply water to the surface features we all are familiar
with -- springs, wetlands, lakes, and rivers.
“A groundwater aquifer is similar to a full tub of water with the
spigot on, but when Las Vegas starts pumping nearly as much water as
nature puts in the ground, the springs will slowly dry and the people
and environment of rural Nevada will suffer,” said Myers.
Dr. Myers delivered the workshops to audiences ranging from 30 to 60
people. Myers has a PhD and MS in hydrology/hydrogeology
from the University of Nevada, Reno and a BS in civil engineering from
the University of Colorado. He is an expert on water resource
development and groundwater contamination issues with more than
20 years of experience as a consultant, government planner,
academic researcher, teacher and advocate for environmental
While Dr. Meyers didn't answer the question on everybody's mind "Should
water from rural Nevada be imported to our cities?", he did explain
what some of the risks of exporting rural groundwater are.
groundwater in eastern and southern Nevada, western Utah, and eastern
California is found in carbonate rock formations and that water flows
underground from the north to the south and southwest. (Although
in Snake and Spring Valleys groundwater probably flows to the east and
northeast toward the Great Salt Lake and salt flats supporting
agricultural pumping in Utah's western desert)
a lack of scientific knowledge about the degree of negative impacts to
springs, wetlands, and lakes from groundwater pumping and export.
- when the
effects of groundwater pumping begin to show up in springs, seeps, and
wetlands, the impacts will be felt for a long time since the aquifer
supplying them has already been impacted.
and southern Nevada and eastern California are famous for large springs
with unique fish and plants. Likewise farmers and ranchers and
Native Americans rely on many large springs for much irrigation water.
from the aquifer will eventually impact spring discharges. There
is no free lunch and there is likewise no free water. All water
underground is currently going somewhere and pumping will eventually
remove enough of it to negatively affect spring discharges.