Wells and Groundwater
Groundwater is located below the surface of the earth and occurs naturally as a result of snowmelt and rainfall in the nearby mountains. About 10 percent of Southern Nevada's water supply comes from groundwater sources.
Groundwater in the Las Vegas Valley comes from three major aquifer zones generally located from 300 to 1,500 feet below land surface. This drinking-water supply is protected from surface contamination by a layer of clay and fine-grained sediments throughout most of the valley.
Who uses groundwater?
Occasionally, news reports mention that contaminants such as pesticides and fertilizers have been found in groundwater. These reports typically refer to water in the shallow groundwater system, which is water that lies within 50 feet of land surface. It is separated from the primary producing aquifers by thick layers of clay and fine-grained sediments. This water is not used for drinking water at this time.
In Southern Nevada, the primary users of groundwater are the Las Vegas Valley Water District, the City of North Las Vegas, and thousands of single-family domestic and private well owners. Groundwater is important in managing peak demands by all SNWA municipal water providers in the summer.