State engineer issues order for Cold Spring basin |

State engineer issues order for Cold Spring basin

Staff Reports

With the possibility that water rights may exceed the amount of water available in a community northwest of Reno, Nevada’s State Engineer issued an order to help address a pressing water management issue in the Cold Spring Hydrographic Basin.

Groundwater in the Cold Spring Hydrographic Basin is the only water source for more than 3,000 homes located throughout Cold Spring Valley. Over the years, The Nevada Department of Water Resources has received and considered multiple applications seeking to appropriate groundwater in Cold Spring Valley. The state has consistently denied the applications because existing commitments exceed the available water supply. However, over the last decade, the Cold Spring community has continued to grow and use an increasing volume of existing groundwater in the basin, putting further strain on an already limited water supply.

With the issuance of Interim Order 1307, the state has placed a temporary hold on the review and approval of new subdivision maps and other proposals that would require additional water supply in Cold Spring Valley. Given the uncertainties surrounding the basin’s annual water capacity, NDWR cautions that constructing new housing developments could potentially impair the water supply for existing homes where thousands of families currently live. To help prevent a potential future water shortage, NDWR’s Interim Order will include an updated review of water use and hydrologic data to determine if there’s enough water in the ground to support any new developments without impacting existing users or unsustainably depleting the Cold Spring Hydrographic Basin.

“The Nevada Division of Water Resources is committed to protecting and managing Nevada’s limited water resources using the best available science for the benefit of all Nevadans,” said Nevada State Engineer Tim Wilson. “With the issuance of the Interim Order, our goal is to take a proactive approach to water management by ensuring essential groundwater data is collected to help inform development decisions, protect current property rights and family homes, and foster a sustainable water future in the Cold Spring community.”