HomeAbout UsWater Policy & LawsWater ScienceGroundwater Management Plan and Supporting DocumentsEducationPublicationsDownload DataLinksSite MapContact Us
Protecting Water Resources In Nye County
Nye County Water Policy
Designated Basins in Nye County
Nevada Water Law
Nevada State Water Plan
State/Federal Regulations
Nye County Water Resources Plan

2004 Nye County Water Resources Plan
The starting point for understanding the issues involved in the quantity and quality of water resources in your community is the Nye County Water Resources Plan Update that was approved by the Nye County Board of County Commissioners in August, 2004 and updated April 2017. 

The Water Resources Plan Update contains 217 pages on a comprehensive, yet understandable discussion of the background of the issues and the status of future problems that will need to be addressed.  

Of particular interest to the communities is Chapter 6, "Community and Basin Issues", which contains focused summaries for the Nye County communities of Amargosa, Beatty, Manhattan, Round Mountain, Pahrump, Railroad Valley, and Tonopah.

The plan was prepared to:
  • Ensure that adequate supplies of water remain available in Nye County to maintain and enhance the quality of the environment;
  • To improve the quality of life for residents and visitors to the County; and
  • To expand and diversify the economy of the County. 
Specifically, the intent of the WRP was to:
  • Define the existing surface and ground water resources of the County.
  • Identify existing water uses in the County.
  • Identify forecasted growth and future water demands for the period 2000 to 2050.
  • Identify water supply issues and management practices.
  • Establish short and long-term strategies for the use of water resources in the County to benefit its environment and its citizens.                                        


Because of the importance and complexity of the decisions to be made based on the WRP, a set of "Guiding Principles" was used in developing the plan.  These should be kept in mind as specific issues are considered:
All of the water resources of Nye County, whether above or below ground, belong to the public.
The water resources needs of future generations of Nye County residents must be protected with a balanced approach that provides for the County's economic goals without detriment to the social, aesthetic, cultural, and ecological values of the County while addressing the needs of the State of Nevada as well.
The appropriation and beneficial use of Nye County's water resources are administered by the Nevada State Engineer in accordance with the requirements of Nevada Water Law, and by state and federal court decrees and regulations.
Public education and public input are vital aspects of water resources planning and all units of local government, water users, and interested parties should be allowed to participate in the planning process.
The Nye County Water Resources Plan must be aimed at accommodating planned growth within the various economic sectors of the County, not restricting it.
Water rights in Nye County are private property that may be bought, sold, or traded under free market conditions.
The Nye County Water Resources Plan should integrate water supply, water quality, water use, and environmental issues, and should be used to guide decisions that affect the water resources of the County.
All water resources development and use in Nye County should be conducted in a manner that is technically, environmentally, and economically sound, and consistent with state and federal laws.
The Nye County Water Resources Plan must be consistent with Nevada Water Law and the State Water Plan and must be prepared in consultation with the Nevada Divisions of Water Resources and Water Planning as well as stakeholders in the County.
Water conservation is an important component of the planning and management of Nye County's water resources.
The Nye County Water Resources Plan must be based upon sound science and water resources evaluation and management principles.
The Nye County Water Resources Plan shall be considered for adoption as an element to the Nye County Comprehensive/Master Plan.

The hydrology, population growth estimates, and economic forecasts upon which the Original 2004 Water Resources Plan was based will be revisited and reassessed during the 22-month appraisal effort funded by a grant received by the NCWD in September 2011 from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.
HomeAbout UsWater Policy & LawsWater ScienceGroundwater Management Plan and Supporting DocumentsEducationPublicationsDownload DataLinksSite MapContact Us