Navajo Reservoir

Navajo Dam

Current Status

(Last Updated: July 6th, 2016)

Navajo Reservoir – Navajo is currently releasing 2,300 cfs and is in the midst of ramping down the spring peak release.  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 June was 213 kaf, which was 95% of average. The reservoir elevation is 6065.6 ft and declining.

Inflows for the next three months are projected to be below average: with July, August, and September forecasted inflow volumes at 34 kaf (52% of average), 26 kaf (58% of average), and 30 kaf (69% of average), respectively.  The most probable April through July forecast is for 575 kaf (78% of average).

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, then decreasing 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 will be 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.

Susan Behery

July 6th, 2016

Additional Information