Newspaper Archive of
Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
October 16, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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October 16, 1997

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Water studies in Nevada show concern 120 119 118 117 116 ' 115" 114 " ....................... 42 .'.::.':.'..:.::z by Geoff Kreis 3!:!:i:!:i:!!!!'!: PVG Staff The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has mas, "But with the rapid growth of both :.:.:.!!::,; 41o been studying ground water in Nevada for valleys, the run off water will no doubt, get ............ !i!!!i!!.!!::!! quite some time and is finding that every used up in the future." :::::::::::::::::: day brings additional information. The USGS has studied both Las Vegas i!-;:iiiiii The USGS recently released a series of and Pahrump underground water and said ::-:::::.::o:*: 40 fact sheets and is describing different pro- that the water is cleaner than expected. !!!!!i ............ grams and procedures being used for ground Another topic the USGS has been study- !iii?i??ii?i %:*::: water concerns, ing is the level of groundwater in the Day- *::: In one fact sheet, a pesticide called ton Valley area. Sources indicate that cur- ........... bentazon was said to have been detected in rent water level could be greater than the :: water samples from a monitored water well studies they made in the 1970s, due .to ....................... in an agricultural area near Orovada, near advancements in both technology and the ........................ 38 the Nevada and Oregon horderl Bentazon is updating of water table maps. ....................... designed to control weed encroachment, Studies recently have shown that pre- plant disease and any other type of un- cipitation data and annual precipitation :i::::::::::: wanted elements that may surface in agri- amounts show that precipitation could be ....  ..... 37' cultural areas, greater than the previous estimate. The ::iiii According to Environmental Manage- cause for the possible higher amounts of 0 50 100 MILES ment Specialist Chuck Moses of the Nevad= water is based on this new technology and :!i!!i!i!!!::!!!ii ! o Division of Agriculture (NDOA), "This pes' the ability to take water measurements that i!i:::::!i:::i ticide is not very dangerous but is still going couldn,t be done before. Figure 2, Areas of pesticide monitoring by' to be studied for any kind of concerns that it "The old estimates of precipitation and Nevada Division of Agriculture (refer to table 1 ) may have. The concentrations of bentazon recharge were based on a map developed September 1997 ' US GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 1997-585-937 were well below the Environmental Protec- by George Hardman in the 1930s," said tion Agency health advisory limit." USGS hydrologist Doug Maurer. "Since !!:.!!!!!! Bentazon has been detected in water then a lot of precipitation data have been supplies in areas in Nevada that include collected and more precipitation could fall Clark County, hut for Nye County resi- at the higher altitudes than that shown on ::::::.:: dents, the problem does not exist, Moses the old map. If so, run off water would be said. By this next summer the USGS hopes greater also." ,iii:::::iii::i: to put in new wells so they can have more The old maps indicated roughly 180,000 .......... :. up-to-date studies and begin working to acre feet of water in theyalley. New esti- ............... solvethepesticideconcernsthathavearisen, mates by the USGS now ay that there is Another study by the USGS looked at roughly 200,000 acre feet. A study con- Southern Nevada's ground water flow sys- ducted by Oregon State University in which terns in the carbonate rock aquifers that new water table maps were created indi- have isotopic and geochemical data. cated that the amount could be as high as Aquifers are rocks such as limestone or 250,000. Maurer said that the actual mea- ::.:a sedimentary deposits such as sand and surements are somewhere within that i '*:::*'J gravel, that yield quantities of ground water 180,000 to 250,000 range. to flow to wells and springs. Maurer said that the new technology :.!:.:- "Water in the aquifers of the Great Basin has allowed the USGS to make more accu- ;;;;;,;;i;i; generally is of good quality, except in some rate studies of the area. The funding came areas of natural ground water discharge and from the Carson Water Subeonservatory !i!!!i! geothermal activity," said James Thomas a District, as Dayton has somewhat become :. hydrologist of the USGS. "Aquifers in in- a bedroom community to Carson City. The *: dustrial, mining, urban and agriculture ar- new findings donot currently affect water :.-.: eas are subject to local sources of contami- distribution in the area, Maurer said. .:..,::::::::ii| nation, which may result in elevated con- With ongoing studies like these occur- i centrations of undesirable constituents." ring, both the USGS and Nevada residents ii!| Studies of ground water in the Las Vegas are finding out more and more about the i4 and Pahrump valleys indicate that almost all status of water in the state. In a state that ..... : of the flow of water comes directly from the depends on its water supply to survive, i:>. f Spring Mountains, studies like these have served as the step- "There's plenty of water now," said The- ping stone for advancement. ':": Odental,  / _ Futons Furniture" Gifts ( ' i I ........... I  'W07.  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