Scientists work to manage water at Humboldt River Basin
ELKO — The Nevada Division of Water Resources is working to better allocate and manage the amount of water that’s allowed to be withdrawn from northeast Nevada’s Humboldt River Basin, where demand currently exceeds supply.
U.S. Geological Survey and Desert Research Institute scientists are completing the study, and representatives from the organizations updated shareholders on their progress during workshops last week in Lovelock, Winnemucca and Elko, the Elko Daily Free Press reported .
“These guys — the USGS and DRI — are doing a good job and are very thorough,” said Jon Benedict, a Nevada Division of Water Resources geologist, after the Elko workshop. “We are in good hands as far as the technical expertise that we brought to bear.”
The state initiated the four-year, $2.8 million study to better understand the water resource then use the data to create a management system by 2020. Nevada Division of Water Resources Deputy Administrator Rick Felling visited Elko in July 2017 to gather input on how the possible regulations could affect small-business owners and describe the history of the state’s water rights.
Researchers during the January Elko workshop covered the general principles of groundwater and evapotranspiration from plants, and showed progress on models for the upper, middle and lower basins.
The results should come together to create an understanding of stream depletion and how governance would affect the river system.
The research team expects to have a draft report by the first quarter of 2019, followed by a review process. The final report could be finished as early as the end of that year or 2020.