Due to its arid climate, Nevada has limited natural major rivers and lakes. The few that exist have played an outsized role in the state's development.
The Colorado River
The Colorado River forms Nevada's southeastern border with Arizona. It has been critical for providing water to cities like Las Vegas through irrigation and aqueduct projects. Hoover Dam is located on the Colorado River near the Nevada-Arizona border.
The Humboldt River
The Humboldt River originates in northeast Nevada and flows westward for over 300 miles. It was a vital water source for pioneers traveling on the California Trail and settling places like Elko.
The Truckee River
The Truckee River originates at Lake Tahoe in California and terminates at Pyramid Lake in Nevada. It provides water to the Reno-Sparks metropolitan area.
Nevada's lakes and reservoirs store and control limited water resources.
Lake Mead is one of the largest man-made reservoirs in the country. Formed by Hoover Dam, it provides water and hydroelectric power to Nevada, Arizona, and California.
Pyramid Lake is a large desert lake located on the Paiute Indian Reservation north of Reno. It is a remnant of ancient Lake Lahontan.
Lake Tahoe is a large freshwater lake straddling the Nevada-California border. It is renowned for its pristine cobalt blue waters and scenic Sierra Nevada surroundings.
Water conservation is crucial in this desert region. Nevada must continue responsible water usage and allocation to support growth.