Navajo Reservoir

Navajo Dam

Current Status

(Last Updated: August 5th, 2016)

Navajo Reservoir – As of August 4, 2016, Navajo reservoir elevation is 6061 ft (1.359 maf live storage) and is releasing 600 cfs.  Releases are made for the authorized purposes of the Navajo Unit, and to attempt to maintain a target base flow through the endangered fish critical habitat reach of the San Juan River (Farmington to Lake Powell). The San Juan River Basin Recovery Implementation Program (SJRIP) recommends a target base flow of between 500 cfs and 1,000 cfs through the critical habitat area.  The target base flow is calculated as the weekly average of gaged flows throughout the critical habitat area.

Modified unregulated inflow into Navajo during the month of July was 24 kaf, which was 36 percent of average. The total April-July modified unregulated inflow into Navajo for 2016 was 564 kaf, 77% of average.

Inflows for the next three months are projected to be below average: with August, September, and October forecasted inflow volumes at 23 kaf (50 percent of average), 27 kaf (63 percent of average), and 26 kaf (55 percent of average), respectively.

The spring peak release began May 18th. The release was reduced to 2,000 cfs at the request of the San Juan County office of Emergency Management (OEM) on May 25th due to safety and property concerns. Reclamation coordinated daily with OEM to safely increase the release with the goal of reaching 5,000 cfs. The maximum release reached was 4,720 cfs on June 5th. The release was decreased to 4,300 cfs for most of the remainder of the spring peak release.  Ramp-down for the spring peak release began on July 1st and was complete by July 12th.  Releases will be made to maintain target baseflows in the critical habitat reach for the remainder of the year.

Reclamation conducts Public Operations Meetings three times per year to gather input for determining upcoming operations for Navajo Reservoir.  Input from individuals, organizations, and agencies along with other factors such as weather, water rights, endangered species requirements, flood control, hydro power, recreation, fish and wildlife management, and reservoir levels, will be considered in the development of these reservoir operation plans.  In addition, the meetings are used to coordinate activities and exchange information among agencies, water users, and other interested parties concerning the San Juan River and Navajo Reservoir.

The next Navajo Public Operations Meeting is scheduled for August 23rd at 1pm at the Farmington Civic Center, Farmington, NM.

An additional special meeting will be held the same day (August 23rd) at 6pm at the Farmington Civic Center to discuss the 2016 Spring Peak Release specifically. The agenda will include a recap of 2016 Spring Peak Operations, a discussion of flood risk management and safe channel capacity, the nature of sedimentation and bank erosion in the San Juan River Basin, and floodplain risk issues.  The meeting will include talks and representation from several agencies, including Reclamation, US Army Corps of Engineers, Fish and Wildlife Service, and San Juan County, New Mexico, Office of Emergency Management.  There will be opportunities for questions, comments, and discussion with the public during the meeting.

Susan Behery

August 5th, 2016

Additional Information