By Nick Ross, Operations Manager, WETLAB – Western Environmental Testing Laboratory
Nevada is an ideal state for businesses or companies to relocate to or build from the ground up. Specifically, in the northern part of the state, with the business-friendly environment and large amount of industrial space, it’s no wonder that companies like Apple, Tesla, Panasonic and Switch are deciding to call northern Nevada home. The region is also home to unique environmental factors that can greatly affect businesses, the economy and its citizens. Whether businesses are starting construction on a brand-new building or deciding to relocate to an existing space, there are several aspects that should be taken into consideration including the region’s groundwater tables, natural recourses, drought conditions and renowned water resources.
Northern Nevada’s environment contains both very low and very high groundwater tables in close geographic areas. Ground water is impacted by precipitation, irrigation and ground cover. It also may be affected by land use. The water table can fluctuate with the seasons from year to year because it is affected by climatic variations, as well as how much water may be drawn from underground.
Groundwater is held underground in the soil or in the pores and crevices in a rock. Low groundwater can be extremely conducive to some endeavors like mines or landfills. However, low groundwater can also pose a problematic element for others like production wells. On the other hand, high groundwater tends to have the opposite effect. Mine dewatering – removing groundwater from a mine or contaminated groundwater due to seepage, are both present in northern Nevada’s environment.
Abundant Natural Resources
The region is filled with natural resources buried deep within the Earth. Resources like mineral deposits of gold, silver and lithium are buried in northern Nevada. The state’s great mineral wealth established this unique geographic region as a state nearly 150 years ago. Today, it continues to be an essential sector in Nevada’s economy. Thanks to world-class deposits of gold and silver, mining is Nevada’s largest export industry. Nevada’s mining industry was a vital source of technological advancement in the 19th century and continues to drive innovation in engineering and science. More than 12,000 people are directly employed by the Nevada mining industry. With a thriving mining industry, other industries and the state’s economy reap the benefits of numerous natural resource exports.
Extreme Drought Conditions
These extreme drought conditions can lead to more natural landscape erosion which in turn require more chemicals to maintain farmlands or golf courses. These conditions can also contracture to additional non-point source pollution when the rain causes runoff for the drought-stricken areas. Additionally, when a region is experiencing a drought, many industries are involved. Whether it’s the dry soil that causes building foundations to crack and shift or a poor yield of the food crop which can lead to less product and local businesses feeling the lack of spending, extreme drought conditions can severely affect the region’s business climate.
World Renowned Water Resources
Lake Tahoe, one of the clearest bodies of water in the world, due to its significant depth, low watershed rate and granite composition. Other resources such as the Truckee River, Pyramid Lake, Walker River and Walker Lake are extremely protected water resources in northern Nevada. Whether state or federal regulations, these water resources require extra layers of regulatory and testing requirements in marinas, ski resorts, water/sewage treatment, etc.
These unique environmental factors can seem daunting to business owners or developers, especially if they are new to the region. It’s important to properly test these environmental factors prior to building or relocating. Environmental testing companies are able to develop unique testing strategies and methods for various constituents and matrices while working closely with regulatory bodies to ensure compliance and accurate testing.
WETLAB was founded in 2002 in Sparks, Nevada. In 2006, they moved into a state-of-the-art building, customized for our unique environmental testing and analytical needs. This facility has continued to grow is the main testing facility for WETLAB. To meet their customer needs, they have satellite facilities in Elko and Las Vegas. Learn more at www.wetlaboratory.com.