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Albuquerque Area Office

Water Operations Group

Operations Fact Sheet
Jemez Canyon Dam and Reservoir


  • Purpose: Flood and sediment control.
  • Owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.


  • Jemez Canyon frequently stores spring and early summer runoff. The dam is operated to release stored water as quickly as possible without causing downstream flooding.
  • SJC evaporation replacement water for the Jemez Reservoir Canyon sediment pool is exchanged by capturing native water from the Jemez River in the reservoir and replacing that water to the Rio Grande by releasing San Juan-Chama water from upstream storage reservoirs on the Rio Chama.
  • SJC sediment pool serves to increase trap efficiency.


  • General plan for operating is to bypass the entire natural inflow up to a channel capacity of 7,000 cfs at the Albuquerque gage. Releases from Cochiti Dam and Jemez Canyon Dam are kept below this flow rate.
  • Rate of release when increasing in stage is generally held to 0.50 to 1 foot at the downstream gage and a range of 1 to 2 feet when decreasing flows. The limitation on the increase in stage at the downstream gage is based on public safety
  • Release changes are not made in less than one-hour intervals when possible.
  • Release rates are adjusted to evacuate flood storage within a short period of time, usually within a 24-hour period after the peak inflow of a thunderstorm event. Duration of the evacuation depends on the volume. Release rates are also adjusted based on tributary inflow below the dam from a thunderstorm event. These measures are taken to protect downstream structures from flood damage.

**** All data are provisional and subject to revision as final data are collected and analyzed. ****

Email comments/inquires to: rabeyta@uc.usbr.gov


Last updated: January 23, 2007