Western Colorado Area Office
Colorado River Storage Project
Navajo Unit Operation Meeting
August 11, 2015
Next Meeting: January 26 2016 (1:00 pm) at Farmington Civic Center
This meeting was held in Farmington, New Mexico at the Civic Center. The meeting minutes, as mailed, as well as the meeting handouts are available in the archives. Meeting attendance is shown on the archived minutes.
The purpose of these meetings, held annually in January, April, and August, is to gather input for determining upcoming operations for Navajo Reservoir. This input is used in Reclamation’s development of an overall 24-month study for operation of Reclamation projects in the Upper Colorado River Basin, which includes plans for Glen Canyon, Flaming Gorge, Aspinall Unit and Navajo. 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.
Full meeting Minutes and the Presentation is available below in the Archives in PDF form.
- WY2015 had below average snowpack for most of the winter, but precipitation in May-June was well above-average.
- WY2015 April – July Inflow was 84% of average (620 Kaf)
- No Spring Peak Release was conducted for WY 2015.
- Minimum Summer Release = 350 cfs, Current Release = 650 cfs
- After rainy spring, the reservoir has effectively “recovered” according to new Interim Operations for Navajo. Some water has become “available” for the SJRIP’s biologic purposes beyond the minimum targets. Target baseflows have been held slightly higher this summer and some water was available for mitigation for the mine spill event.
- Most Probable April – July hydrologic forecast for 2016 is 93% of average.
- A 3-week at 5,000 cfs spring peak release is forecast for spring 2016 under the Most Probable forecasted operations. The Min/Max are a wide range from no-release to a full-release plus nose.
- Typically the CBRFC hydrologic forecasting skill for the coming snow year is very low during the August forecasts.
- El Nino has been declared but the expected effects on the San Juan River Basin are uncertain.
The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 26th, 2016 at 1:00pm at the Farmington Civic Center, Farmington, New Mexico (200 West Arrington Street).
Meeting Minutes (Portable Document Format (PDF)): View these minutes as mailed (includes attendance list)
Email comments/inquires to: WestColoAreaOffice@usbr.gov