California Water Program
Armargosa Wild and Scenic River, located in Barstow Field Office, is a national significant treasure providing perennial surface flow in the arid Death Valley region. This ecologically critical riparian corridor is solely ground water fed and is a part of the Death Valley Regional Flow System which extends from the Spring Mountains near Las Vegas and the volcanic highlands of the Nevada National Security Site to the floor of Death Valley. The Regional System also includes Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge and Devil’s Hole. California BLM works with its partners in Nevada BLM, National Park Service, United States Geological Survey, Fish and Wildlife Service, and Department of Energy to understand flow in the Regional System and use that information to protect federal reserve water rights and public trust aquatic ecosystems. The partnership involves sharing of information, coordination of projects, collaborative monitoring and data collection, geologic studies, and groundwater modeling.
Recently, California BLM partnered with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to drill a monitoring well in Chicago Valley, between Amargosa Wild and Scenic River and pumping centers in Nevada. The well was drilled into the regional carbonite aquifer at a depth of 1,200 feet and provides lithologic data critical for understanding flow between Pahrump Valley in Nevada and Amargosa Wild and Scenic River. The well will also serve as an early detection for groundwater level declines and will become a part of the collaborative regional monitoring network. Partners for the regional monitoring network include California and Nevada BLM, National Park Service, USGS, Fish and Wildlife Service, Inyo County California, and Nye County Nevada. Quarterly monitoring data from the Chicago Valley well will be published by the USGS in the National Water Information System and will be publicly available.