Senate Bill 62 (SB62), approved by the 2005 Nevada State Legislature, created the Water Rights Technical Support Fund in the amount of $1 million to be administered by the Board for Financing Water Projects (Board). The Water Rights Technical Support Fund was established to make grants to local governments for the following purposes:

  • To obtain and provide expert and technical assistance to gather data to protect a local government's existing water rights; or

  • To fund projects to enhance or protect a local government's existing water rights

SB62 specified that grant money from the Water Rights Technical Support Fund must not be used to pay for any assistance or projects if the only purpose of the assistance or project is to obtain evidence, including, without limitation, technical evidence and oral testimony or to pay for expert witnesses or attorney's fees for or in anticipation of any administrative or judicial proceeding, including, hearings before the State Engineer or in any state or federal court.

In planning for the implementation of this new fund, the Board made an initial solicitation of local governments in August 2005 to determine the level of interest in obtaining water rights protection grants. A public workshop was conducted on August 30, 2005, to allow members of the public to comment on the grants and grant process.

Grants were available to local governments with existing water rights. "Authorities" or aggregates of local governments were also eligible to submit proposals. The Board decided that a final solicitation for grant applications should be sent to local governments in September 2005 with a deadline of October 12, 2005, for the submittal of grant proposals. The Board requested that submittal letters include: a description of existing water rights and degree to which water rights are jeopardized, a project summary, the financial need, planned deliverables and a project budget.

The Board placed the consideration of grant proposals on a fast track in order to distribute the funds and get eligible projects underway. At the November 2005 board meeting, the Board for Financing Water Projects developed an allocation plan for the disbursement of funds to projects. The Board set a cap on grants at $150,000 in an attempt to make funding available to the largest number of projects. In addition, the Board gave applicants who obtained or attempted to obtain other funding the full amount of their request up to the cap. To ensure that applicants' projects met the intent of SB62, legal counsel to the Board reviewed all of the grant proposals to assure that they met the criteria set forth by the Legislature in SB62.

The Board approved a resolution to obligate the full $1 million dollars in grant funds at their January 2006 board meeting. Five (5) applicants demonstrated the efforts to secure other funding for their projects and were given the full grant amount requested up to the cap. Eight (8) applicants shared the remainder of the $1 million dollars in funding. One project did not meet the intent of SB62 and was not funded. The Board required that grantees submit a detailed scope of work demonstrating the budget and a project timeline before a funding agreement would be finalized.

A summary of the projects and their funding is available below. Currently, NDEP staff is working with the grantees to get their work plans in place and formalize the grants through funding agreements. Since funding agreements have only recently been signed and work is just beginning, no money has been spent from this fund as of this date.

In general, local governments have been very appreciative of this grant funding. We are confident that this funding will be put to good use and result in meaningful hydrologic data collection.

Grant Progress Reports


Budget Summaries


Projects Completed

Churchill County completed its project in April 2007. The product of this project - The Churchill County Water Resources Plan Update - may be reviewed and downloaded by clicking the link below.

Churchill County Water Resources Plan Update


Esmeralda County completed its project in April 2007. The product of this project - Esmeralda County Water Rights Management Plan - may be reviewed and downloaded by clicking the link below.

Esmeralda County Water Rights Management Plan


The Town of Tonopah completed its project in April 2008. The product of this project - Tonopah Water Rights - may be reviewed and downloaded by clicking the link below.

Tonopah Water Rights


The White Pine County completed its project in April 2008. The product of this project - White Pine County Water Resources Plan - may be reviewed and downloaded by clicking the link below.

White Pine County Water Resources Plan


The Humboldt River Basin Water Authority completed its project in December 2007. The products of this project may be reviewed and downloaded by clicking the link below.

Humboldt River Basin Water Authority


The Las Vegas Valley Water District completed its project for the Kyle Canyon Water System in June 2008. The product of this project may be reviewed and downloaded by clicking the link below.

Kyle Canyon Leak Detection Logging System


City of Fernley completed its project in February 2009. The product of this project may be reviewed and downloaded by clicking the link below.

Initial Mapping Effort of Water Rights within the City of Fernley Geographic Boundary


Virgin Valley Water District completed its project in July 2009. The product of this project may be reviewed and downloaded by clicking the link below.

Lower Virgin River Modeling Report


Gerlach completed its project in August 2009. The product of this project may be reviewed and downloaded by clicking the link below.

Groundwater Modeling for the Smoke Creek Desert


Topaz Ranch Estates General Improvement District completed its project in December 2009. The product of this project may be reviewed and downloaded by clicking the link below.

Mapping of Water Rights within the Topaz Ranch Estates General Improvement District


Las Vegas Valley Water District completed its project for Searchlight in June 2010. The product of this project may be reviewed and downloaded by clicking the link below.

Searchlight Monitoring Well PVM-1 - Final Report



Eureka County completed its project in May 2011. The product of this project - USGS Open-File Report 2011 - 1089 - Data Network, Collection, and Analysis in the Diamond Valley Flow System, Central Nevada - may be reviewed and downloaded by clicking the link below.

USGS Open-File Report 2011 - 1089 - Data Network, Collection, and Analysis in the Diamond Valley Flow System, Central Nevada


 

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