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Water Resources
Water is a limited and invaluable resource, particularly in a desert environment where average annual precipitation is less than 5 inches. The primary source or water for Churchill County’s largest population is drawn from an intermediate aquifer beneath the Lahontan Valley, known as hydrographic Basin 101. This aquifer is over appropriated and recharge is reliant upon seepage from the Carson River, leakage from the network of canals and drains within the Newlands Project and irrigation.

Protection of this precious resource is therefore of paramount importance and retention of surface water rights to sustain recharge is vital. The County therefore requires all development to dedicate water rights to the County so that a healthy aquifer will be maintained and a sustainable water supply will be secured for future generations. Water right dedication requirements are outlined in Chapter 13.02, Section 14.04.020.B and Section of the Churchill County Code. Policies per Section 3 of the 2010 Master Plan.

The County Water Resource Plan (this is 46.39 MB and may take a few minutes to download) and update (2007) (this is 40.78 MB and may take a few minutes to download) projects water demand under different growth scenarios through 2050 and provides several alternatives for meeting the projected demands. Considering the limited supply, conservation measures for all water users is critical for long term sustainability and the 2014 Water Conservation Plan identifies the numerous ways that water conservation is promoted.