At Mason Valley WMA, Ducks Unlimited is collaborating with the Nevada Department of Wildlife on a series of beneficial habitat enhancement efforts, along with water conservation and re-use projects. Included are a several pipeline construction, well rehabilitation and seasonal wetland restoration and enhancement projects.
The pipeline projects recirculate water from the lower reaches of the WMA to the upper end of the site, where the water is released into managed wetland units. The water itself is either re-used water obtained from the Sierra Pacific Power Company cooling ponds (located adjacent to Mason Valley) or tail water received from the Mason Valley Fish Hatchery. Once the recirculated water moves through the managed wetland units and reaches the lower end of the WMA, it is piped to the Walker River, where it is released. In total, approximately 30,000 feet of pipeline are being installed to support the beneficial water reuse project.
Well rehabilitation projects are restoring the performance of three groundwater wells that supply water to the WMA.
Seasonal wetland restoration and enhancement projects are underway in four managed wetland units, where 170 acres of seasonal wetlands are being restored and enhanced. The work includes recontouring the wetland bottoms to improve the efficiency of wetland management and water use. The ability to fill and drain these units will be greatly improved and will provide the capability to encourage these wetlands to grow moist soil plants. This capability is currently lacking, which harms waterfowl populations, since the seeds of moist soil plants are an important waterfowl food source. Recirculated water will be delivered to these wetland units via newly constructed pipelines. During the spring and summer, water will be delivered intermittently to irrigate moist soil plants. In the late summer or early fall, it will be used to flood the wetlands, as migratory waterbirds return to the area during their fall migration.
All of these projects are in various stages of completion and should be finalized over the next several construction seasons.