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Providing information, programs and training grounded in research to help people, agencies and other stakeholders sustainably manage Nevada's water.

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Calming the Waters: Learning to Manage Western Water Conflict

Conflict has surrounded the Truckee, Carson and Walker River Basins for decades. Key issues include historical use on tribal lands, historical and current water rights, threats to water quality, and wildlife habitat protection. This program teaches youth about Nevada’s water issues and helps them develop the skills needed to address future water conflicts.

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Carson City Community Garden

The Community Garden began in 2001 and allows community members who don’t have room for a vegetable garden to rent a 4-by-16-foot garden bed for $20 a season at a 25-bed garden complex on Beverly Drive east of the cemetery. The price includes water, soil preparation, some seeds and fertilizer. 

Red Rock Pool of Water

Conservation & Sustainability

Extension offices provide support and research for many conservation initiatives throughout the state of Nevada. In addition, a partnership with Nevada's Conservation Districts has been formed which assists both organizations with the overall vision of Conservation for the state of Nevada while providing additional education and resources to help conserve Nevada's natural resources.

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Desert Green, Commercial Water Conservation Training

Desert Green is in its eleventh year and is designed to educate commercial clientele in the Green Industry as well as others who have an interest in water conservation issues. A committee representing the industry implements the training. Desert Green is chaired by one industry representative and one Extension representative. The program is presented once a year, with 36 classes taught in a two-day period.

people learning to identify a tree

Green Industry Training

A workforce development program to train green industry professionals, who receive continuing education units for pesticide applicator, ISA-certified arborist and Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper

tall whitetop (Perennial pepperweed )

Invasive Species (Weeds)

Weeds are one of the most serious threats to Nevada rangelands and lawns. Hundreds of Weed Warriors, Woad Warriors, and other volunteers have been trained by Extension personnel in how to spot, control and eradicate noxious weeds.

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Living with Drought

Living with Drought connects stakeholders with drought status information, essential research, and tools that can be used to help address and assess the impacts of drought in Nevada.

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Nevada Creeks & Communities

An interagency and interdisciplinary program designed to meet Nevada's need for riparian management education. The program team teaches workshops and submits proposals; writes articles and publications; and works with landowners, land users, and interest groups and agencies. 

Butterfly on flower

Nevada Desert Bioscape

Extension’s Desert Bioscape program takes a holistic approach to conserving natural resources in an urban setting. This program targets adult learners in the green industry of southern Nevada. The program uses the successful Correctional Horticultural program as a model for development. Implementation of the curriculum meets the needs of people already working in the industry. In addition to these goals, training will be translated into money savings for the

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Nevada Naturalist

This program educates adult volunteers who educate others and engage in environmental projects in southern Nevada.

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Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL)

Training will provide participants with local water, soil and plant information, basic and advanced irrigation principles and hands-on water audit skills they can use in the field

Water Related News Articles, Fact Sheets, Reports...

california fuschia flowers
Add plants to attract hummingbirds
Attracting hummingbirds to your garden can be done by adding specific plant species.
Fisher, J. 2018, Reno Gazette Journal
mowing lawn
Certified Nursery Workers (2019)
A list of certified Nursery Workers from the 2019 Green Industry Training program.
Fisher, J. 2019, Extension website
Collaborative modeling to assess and enhance the climate resiliency of snow-fed river dependent communities Singletary, L. & Sterle, K. 2018, Lachapelle, P.R. & D. Albrecht. (Eds.), Addressing Climate Change at the Community Level in the United States. Community Development Research and Practice Series, New York: Routledge.
Determining Profitability of Alternative Crops
There are many alternative crops to consider. Evaluating which alternative crop or crops will be the best fit for a producer can be a daunting task. This fact sheet breaks down the process to a step-by-step review of individual crops to gauge which crops may be the most successful for a given producer.
Bishop, C., and Emm, S. 2013, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Economic and Environmental Priorities of Walker River Basin Landowners
In west-central Nevada lies the Walker River Basin. Fed mainly by the snow melt of the surrounding Sierra Nevada Mountains, the basin provides the vital water that sustains both human and natural livelihoods.
Curtis, K., Emm, S., and Entsminger, J. 2008, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Floodplain Protection Inventory for the Carson River
The floodplain of a river is the adjacent low-lying land that temporarily stores floodwater. This riverine floodplain is an integral part of a river. In most cases, the soil on floodplains was deposited by the river or creek over an extended period of time.
Cobourn, J. and Lewis, S. 2015, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, Fact Sheet FS-15-05
Get ready in case of heavy rain or flood events this winter Andrews, A. 2017, Reno Gazette-Journal
Good Agricultural Practices and Good Handling Practices: Water Use in Horticultural Systems
Good agricultural practices (GAPs) and good handling practices (GHPs) encompass management practices producers, growers and packers of fresh produce should follow to minimize contamination of their product. This publication covers those practices related to water use.
Urbanowitz, S. 2013, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Grow Crops, Raise Fish With Aquaponics Andrews, A. and Kratsch, H. 2015, Reno Gazette-Journal
How Much Water Does Alfalfa Need?
Studies in the west have shown that the right combination of irrigation and fertilizer management practices can double or triple alfalfa yields.
Jim Sloan 2009, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno
Hydroponics: A Brief Guide to Growing Food Without Soil
Hydroponics comes from the Greek word “hydro,” meaning water, and “ponos,” meaning labor. In other words, hydroponics is gardening without soil. Growing food in a desert can be difficult because of extreme temperatures, low natural precipitation and limited arable soil.
Treftz, C., Kratsch, H., and Omaye, S. 2015, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, Fact Sheet FS-15-08
Impacts of Development on Waterways
Local officials interested in protecting area waters must go beyond standard flood and erosion control practices and address the issue of polluted runoff through a multilevel strategy of planning, site design and storm water best management practices.
Donaldson, S. and Hefner, M. 2004, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno
Intermountain Pasture and Hay Meadow Handbook: Pasture, Hay and Profit
This manual has been developed in response to (1) increased inquiries we have received concerning irrigated pasture development, use and management, and (2) our belief that irrigated pasture may be an economically viable alternative for Nevada farmers and ranchers.
Multiple Authors 2000, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, EB-00-02
master gardener volunteers talking to clients in the office
Is it scientific or just a myth?
The best place to get science-based information if from Cooperative Extension.
Fisher, J. 2018, Reno Gazette Journal
Landowner Willingness to Adopt Alternative Cropping and Irrigation Strategies in the Walker River Basin
Water. In the arid climate of the Great Basin it is the most vital resource available. Both humans and natural ecosystems rely on this scarce resource for their livelihood and well being. Nowhere is this more apparent than the Walker River Basin in westcentral Nevada.
Curtis, K., Emm, S., and Entsminger, J. 2008, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Landowner Willingness to Sell or Lease Water Rights in the Walker River Basin
This fact sheet will provide a background on water rights in Nevada, followed by a comparison of the survey findings between 2003 and 2007. This comparison seeks to examine the changes in water rights owners’ willingness to sell or lease their holdings.
Curtis, K., Emm, S., and Entsminger, J. 2008, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
person performing catch can test on lawn
Look for QWEL-certified pros for your next landscape contract
Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper is a new program to Nevada for landscape professionals to learn about irrigation principles for water-efficiency.
Fisher, J. 2018, Reno Gazette Journal
Marketing Farmers’ Markets: Ideas for Market Vendors & Managers in Nevada
In 1994, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA-AMS) began tracking the number of farmers’ markets nationwide. At the start there were 1,755 farmers’ markets across the country; in 2008 there were 4,685, an increase of nearly 168 percent (USDA-AMS, 2008).
Cowee, M., Curtis, K., Gatzke, H. 2009, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
scottish thistle
Nevada Nuisance Weeds Field Guide
The plants listed in this field guide are nuisance weeds, those that are troublesome, but have not been listed by the state as noxious weeds.
Hefner, M., Kratsch, H. 2018, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension SP-18-02
Nevada's Weather and Climate
Weather and climate are related, but they are not the same. The difference between weather and climate is time. Practically speaking, weather determines which clothes you decide to put on today, but climate determines the type of clothes that are in your closet.
Ormerod, Kerri Jean; McAfee, Stephanie 2017, Extension | Fact Sheet 17-04
norfolk pine with red ornament
Norfolk Island pine: a living Christmas tree
How to care for Norfolk Island pine trees indoors.
Fisher, J. 2017, Reno Gazette Journal
Northern Nye County Agricultural/Natural Resource Needs Assessment
In August 2001, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension conducted a formal needs assessment to help citizens identify critical research and education topics surrounding agriculture and natural resources in Northern Nye County.
Suverly, M. 2002, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Northwestern Nevada Leaf Lettuce Production Costs and Returns, 2008
This publication is intended to be a guide used to make production decisions, determine potential returns and prepare business and marketing plans. Practices described are based on the production practices considered typical for this crop and region, but may not apply to every situation.
Bishop, C. and Curtis, K. 2008, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Northwestern Nevada Wine Grape Establishment, Production Costs and Returns, 2008
This publication is intended to be a guide used to make production decisions, determine potential returns, and prepare business and marketing plans. Practices described are based on the production practices considered typical for a wine grape production in this region, but may not apply to every operation.
Bishop, C., Curtis, K., and Kobayashi, M. 2008, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Plant Season Extension in the Desert
Desert regions, especially the high deserts, have wide-ranging temperatures that can greatly stress plants and reduce production. Using a combination of strategies to moderate environmental extremes and protect plants from frost can greatly improve growth and production.
Gatzke, H., McCuin, G., and Nelson, D. 2009, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Prepare for winter river floods Andrews, A. 2016, Reno Gazette-Journal
Radioactivity and groundwater in the Lahontan Valley
Small amounts of radioactive elements are found in almost all soil, rock and water. Groundwater throughout the United States contains radioactivity and radioactive elements. As such, in Nevada, communities that pump groundwater for public water supply treat to remove radioactivity and other contaminants.
Walker M. and Powell P. 2011, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, FS-11-39
boer goat
Raising Meat Goats in Southern Nevada
An important outline of everything needed to raise meat goats in Southern Nevada, such as land, water, vehicles, equipment, breeding, etc.
Bishop, C. 2016, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, FS-16-11
dumping trash in carson foothills
Resident Perceptions of Illegal Dumping In Northern Nevada
Illegally dumped vehicles, fencing, and electronic equipment can cause harm to both domestic and wild animals that may be cut, become entwined, or be exposed to chemicals. Additionally, lost revenue in the form of foregone dumping fees and vehicle scrapping (metal and parts) may result.
Cowee, M. and Curtis, K. 2011, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, FS-11-03
Save Water and Your Garden and Landscape Andrews, A. 2015, Reno Gazette-Journal
Small Ranch Projects Guide
A How-To Guide on Implementing Best Management Practices on Your Property
S. Donaldson, G. Bowers, S. Swanson, W. Carlos 2000, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno EB-00-02
Sustaining Water and Climate Resiliency in the Truckee-Carson River system
Water for the Seasons partners scientists with community stakeholders in the Truckee-Carson River System to explore new strategies and solutions for dealing with extreme climate events, such as droughts and floods.
McCarthy, M., Singletary, L., Sterle, K., Simpson K., Fitzgerald, K., Pohll, G., Rajagopal S., Huntington, J., Dettinger M., Niswonger, R., and Kauneckis, D. 2016, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, Fact Sheet FS-16-01
The Noxious Weed Seedbank: Out of Sight – Out of Mind and Eventually Out of Control
To develop and implement successful weed control and management programs, landowners and managers must understand the seedbank, including how long it may persist without additional inputs. Learn more about seedbank in this fact sheet.
Schultz, B. 2012, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, FS-12-01
Use Fertilizers Sparingly on Lawns at Lake Tahoe
If you have turf on your property and want to protect Lake Tahoe’s water quality, one of the most important things you can do is avoid over-fertilizing your lawn. It’s vitally important to prevent plant fertilizers from washing off lawns or infiltrating to groundwater.
Cobourn, J. and Kratsch, H. 2013, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, FS-13-37