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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes
NEVADA FWO: Hydrological and Biological Monitoring Plans Complete For Spring Valley Hydrographic Basin
Region 8, February 19, 2009

A biological monitoring plan for the Spring Valley Stipulation was  finalized in February 2009 that will document baseline condition of groundwater-influenced ecosystems and track response of these systems to Southern Nevada Water Authority’s (SNWA) withdrawal of groundwater from Spring Valley. A hydrological monitoring plan was completed earlier this year.

These plans were developed in cooperation with the Service, BLM, National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs and the SNWA. They are components of the Stipulation for Withdrawal of Protests between SNWA and the Department of Interior.

"We have worked together to develop a monitoring system that will be able to identify potential changes in the groundwater table, effectively providing an ‘early warning’ system that helps protect water-dependent ecosystems and the sensitive wildlife species they support," said Bob Williams, State Supervisor for the Fish and Wildlife Service in Nevada.

In April 2007, the Nevada State Engineer granted SNWA groundwater rights in the amount of 60,000 acre feet per year (afy) in the Spring Valley Hydrographic Basin subject to a monitoring and mitigation program and staged development. Per the State Engineer’s ruling, SNWA will collect a minimum of five years of biological and hydrological baseline data, which must be approved by the State Engineer prior to exporting any groundwater from Spring Valley.

Copies of the plans are available at http://www.fws.gov/nevada.

Contact Info: Scott Flaherty, , Scott_Flaherty@fws.gov