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About the Program

About the Groundwater Management Program

In 1997, the Nevada Legislature directed the Southern Nevada Water Authority  (SNWA) to develop a program to protect and manage the Las Vegas Valley’s primary groundwater supply which resulted in the creation of the Las Vegas Valley Groundwater Management Program.

groundwater-guardianEvery year since 2000, the Las Vegas Valley Groundwater Management Program has been designated a “Groundwater Guardian” by the Groundwater Foundation, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting groundwater supplies. The Groundwater Management Program was awarded the Groundwater Guardian designation for its ongoing commitment to sound groundwater management in the Las Vegas Valley. Las Vegas is the first and only community in Nevada to receive the designation. The program supports, recognizes, and connects communities protecting groundwater, and is designed to empower local citizens and communities to take voluntary steps toward protecting their groundwater resources.

Groundwater Management program goals

  • Protection: Support activities to protect the aquifer from contamination.
  • Management: Improve management of the groundwater resources to prevent over-drafting.
  • Information: Provide information about the aquifer, water conservation and rules governing groundwater wells in Southern Nevada to well users.
  • Cooperation: Increase understanding and cooperation among groundwater users and agencies involved in groundwater.

Well users help shape the program
The Las Vegas Valley Groundwater Management Program receives input from an Advisory Committee for Groundwater Management. This well user group meets annually to discuss issues of interest and to develop recommendations on what can be done to protect the groundwater basin.

The committee’s recommendations have been incorporated into the Las Vegas Valley Groundwater Management Program and its various activities.

Elements of the program
The following program elements are funded through an annual groundwater management fee which is paid by all well users and holders of water permits or water rights.

  • Permanent artificial recharge: A permanent recharge program helps restore the valley’s groundwater system.
  • Well conversion grant program: A financial assistance program that will pay up to 85 percent of connection costs for well users who are required by the Nevada State Engineer to connect to a municipal water system.
  • Aquifer protection: Increased groundwater quality monitoring as well as the Las Vegas Valley Aquifer Protection Plan.
  • Well user education: Information and outreach on wells, water laws and issues of importance to Southern Nevada residents.
  • Well plugging and abandonment grant program: Plugging and abandonment of unused wells in the Las Vegas Valley.
  • Conservation education: Conservation incentives, such as rebates and coupons, for well users.