Bureau of Reclamation Banner, Upper Colorado Region

Navajo Reservoir from the air


Navajo Reservoir –Reclamation has been releasing 250 cfs from Navajo Reservoir since September 24th, 2013.  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 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.

Navajo was at 6025.59 ft of pool elevation and 964,959 acre-ft of storage by the end of December, which was 72% of average for the end of the month. Modified unregulated inflow was 24,984 acre-ft, which was 100% of average for December. Calculated evaporation for the month was 482 acre-ft.  An average release of 250 cfs was maintained from the auxiliary outlet works throughout all of December.  Navajo Reservoir recorded 0.38 inches of liquid precipitation (36% of average). 

As of January 6th, the release at Navajo is 250 cfs, and the observed inflow is 306 cfs. The reservoir elevation is 6025.6 ft and the content is 965,056 acre-ft, or 57% full (29% of Active). The San Juan River at Four Corners USGS gage is at 598 cfs and the Animas River at Farmington USGS gage is at 272 cfs.  SNOTEL sites above Navajo are showing 7.8 inches of snow water equivalent (SWE), which is 87% of average (1987-present). 

To view the most current reservoir elevation, content, inflow and release, click on: Navajo Reservoir Data. For up-to-date release information and notices, click on Navajo webpage Notices.

The most probable modified-unregulated inflow forecast for January at Navajo is 26,000 acre-ft (106% of average), for February is 26,000 acre-ft (86% of average), and for March is 85,000 acre-ft (91% of average). The April-July total inflow forecasts are as follows: Min Probable: 480,000 acre-ft (65% of average), Most Probable: 690,000 acre-ft (93% of average), Max Probable: 990,000 acre-ft (133% of average).  Modified unregulated inflow is defined as the predicted hydrologic inflow volume into Navajo plus the change in storage at Vallecito Reservoir and the San-Juan Chama diversion volume.  

The next coordination meeting for the operation of the Navajo Unit will be on Tuesday, January 21, 2014, from 1:00-3:00 p.m.  It will be held at the Farmington Civic Center, 200 West Arrington, in Farmington, New Mexico.  These meetings are open forum discussions on the operation of Navajo Reservoir with many interested groups participating. Anyone interested in the general operation of the reservoir is encouraged to attend. Please contact Ryan Christianson in Reclamation's Durango, Colorado Office at (970) 385-6590 for information about these meetings or the daily operation of Navajo Reservoir.

To view minutes from the last Navajo Operations Meeting, click on: Meeting Notes.

Updated January 8th, 2014
Susan Behery

Email comments/inquires to: ResourceMgr@usbr.gov