Coyote Spring Valley

Coyote Spring Valley Water Rights 

Background

Both the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) and Coyote Springs Investment, LLC (CSI) hold water rights applications in Coyote Spring Valley totaling 135,000 acre feet per year (afy).  The Nevada State Engineer (NSE) held hearings on these applications in July and August 2001.  In 2002 the NSE issued Order 1169.  The Order held in abeyance carbonate-rock aquifer system groundwater applications pending or to be filed in Coyote Spring Valley and several adjacent basins.  It also required the Las Vegas Valley Water District, SNWA, CSI, Nevada Power Company, and Moapa Valley Water District to participate in a study to pump a portion of the water rights over a specific timeframe.  These entities have permitted water rights and/or pending applications in Coyote Spring Valley.  The NSE typically issues Orders when insufficient information is available to make a ruling, and the Orders usually require the applicant(s) to provide additional data (such as pumping, monitoring, modeling, etc) prior to issuing a ruling.  The study required by Order 1169 is on-going.

Terms of Order 1169

  • The agencies listed above are required to conduct a study to provide information on the effect of pumpage of those water rights which have already been issued from the carbonate-rock aquifer.
  • The study must cover a 5-year minimum period during which at least 50% of the water rights currently permitted in the Coyote Springs Valley groundwater basin are pumped for at least two consecutive years.

Stipulated Agreement

Prior to the hearings in 2001, the BLM, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, and SNWA negotiated a Stipulated Agreement.  The Agreement had the common goal to manage the development of the carbonate aquifer as a water resource without causing unreasonable adverse impacts to the federal rights and resources. Groundwater and the effects of pumping will be monitored and managed to avoid adverse impacts within the Area of Interest. The parties also identified a need to conduct studies of the aquifer's response to pumping stresses through incremental development of reasonable quantities of groundwater.

Stipulated Agreement Monitoring Plan

The Monitoring, Management, and Mitigation Plan was appended to the Coyote Spring Valley Stipulated Agreement (Exhibit A).  The main points are summarized below:

Monitoring Requirements

  • SNWA is required to collect discharge and water level data at their production wells in Coyote Spring Valley.
  • SNWA, in consultation with the parties, is required to locate and construct additional monitoring wells.
  • SNWA will equip and maintain surface water measurement sites in the Muddy Springs Area, Jones Spring, Baldwin Spring, Pederson Springs, Plummer (Iverson Spring), Rogers Spring, and Blue Point Spring.
  • SNWA is required to conduct a detailed elevation survey of SNWA wells in the Muddy Springs Area, as well as develop and implement a plan to determine elevation of all major spring orifices and monitoring and production wells in the Muddy Springs Area, and Rogers and Blue Point spring complex.
  • SNWA will collect and analyze water quality samples for major ions at two surface water measurement sites in the Muddy Springs Area.

Links of Interest: