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Aquifer Study Draft Report Released for Public Comment
Released: 6/1/2007 1:09:10 PM

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U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
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Reston, VA 20192
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Phone: 702-564-4544



The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) today released for public comment the draft summary report of the Basin and Range carbonate-rock aquifer system (BARCAS) study. The BARCAS study was directed by Congress in the Lincoln County Conservation, Recreation, and Development Act of 2004 (PL 108-424), and was done in collaboration with the Desert Research Institute (DRI) and the Utah Department of Natural Resources.

The draft USGS report summarizes the key findings of the study, and the six accompanying USGS reports highlight important components of the study, such as evaluations of aquifer recharge, ground-water discharge by evapotranspiration, ground-water flow, and data on springs, irrigated acreage, and mapped areas of evapotranspiration. Public comments will be accepted for a 60-day period, beginning on June 1, 2007 and must be submitted electronically. Instructions for submission of comments and simple to use menu-driven forms are available at the same URL as the summary report (listed below). A final report will be published no later than December 1, 2007.

Results of the study provide information on the aquifer system in White Pine County, Nevada, and adjacent areas in Nevada and Utah. USGS and DRI scientists studied the hydrogeology, recharge and discharge, ground-water flow, and geochemistry of the aquifer system, and developed ground-water "budgets" for 13 basins and the entire study area.

Water-resource agencies and interested stakeholders can use the study results to make informed decisions about future water-supply issues. Understanding the geologic framework and hydrologic processes that influence inflows to and outflows from the aquifer system is critical for evaluating how future ground-water development may affect such issues as spring discharge and their associated ecosystems or the volume of ground water available. The principal goals of the study were to characterize basin and regional ground-water budgets - necessary information for understanding hydrologic processes and developing management plans for a sustainable water resource. Although, the application of a ground-water flow model was not part of the project, BARCAS study results will establish an appropriate framework for future development of a numerical model and assessment of potential impacts, if any, from ground-water withdrawals.

The draft summary report, "Water resources of the Basin and Range carbonate-rock aquifer system (BARCAS), White Pine County, Nevada, and adjacent areas in Nevada and Utah" by A.H. Welch and D. J. Bright, Editors, will be published as U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2007-1156. This report can be viewed, and public comments submitted, on the Web at http://pubs.water.usgs.gov/ofr20071156 .

Accompanying final reports can be viewed on the Web at the following sites:

  • The recharge report, "Application of the basin characterization model to estimate in-place recharge and runoff potential in the Basin and Range carbonate-rock aquifer system, White Pine County, Nevada, and adjacent areas in Nevada and Utah," by A.L. Flint and L.E. Flint, is published as U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5099 and can be viewed on the Web at http://pubs.water.usgs.gov/sir20075099 .
  • The ground-water discharge report, "Evapotranspiration rate measurements of vegetation typical of ground-water discharge areas in the Basin and Range carbonate-rock aquifer system, White Pine County, Nevada, and adjacent areas in Nevada and Utah," by M.T. Moreo, R.J. Laczniak, and D.I. Stannard, is published as U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5078 and can be viewed on the Web at http://pubs.water.usgs.gov/sir20075078 .
  • The mapped areas of evapotranspiration report, "Mapping evapotranspiration units in the Basin and Range carbonate-rock aquifer system, White Pine County, Nevada, and adjacent areas in Nevada and Utah," by J.L. Smith, R.J. Laczniak, M.T. Moreo, and T.L. Welborn, is published as U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5087 and can be viewed on the Web at http://pubs.water.usgs.gov/sir20075087 .
  • The ground-water flow report, "Water-level surface maps of the Basin and Range carbonate-rock aquifer system, White Pine County, Nevada, and adjacent areas in Nevada and Utah," by J.W. Wilson, is published as U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5089 and can be viewed on the Web at http://pubs.water.usgs.gov/sir20075089.
  • The spring database report, "Spring database for the Basin and Range carbonate-rock aquifer system, White Pine County, Nevada, and adjacent areas in Nevada and Utah," by M.T. Pavelko, is published as U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 272 and can be viewed on the Web at http://pubs.water.usgs.gov/ds272 .

The irrigated acreage report, "Irrigated acreage within the Basin and Range carbonate-rock aquifer system, White Pine County, Nevada, and adjacent areas in Nevada and Utah," by T.L. Welborn and M.T. Moreo, is published as U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 273 and can be viewed on the Web http://pubs.water.usgs.gov/ds273 .


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