Navajo Reservoir

Navajo Dam

Current Status

Last Updated: August 19th, 2019

***Notices for the latest release changes are posted here. Email sbehery@usbr.gov or call 970-385-6560 for questions***

Navajo Reservoir On August 19th, the daily average release rate from Navajo Dam was approximately 1,200 cfs while reservoir inflow (modified unregulated) was averaging approximately 779 cfs. The water surface elevation was 6071.66 feet above sea level. At this elevation the live storage is 1.50 maf (90 percent of live storage capacity) and the active storage is 0.84 maf (81 percent of active storage capacity). NIIP was diverting 658 cfs from the reservoir. The river flow measured at the Animas River at Farmington USGS gage was at 439 cfs. River flow at the San Juan River at Four Corners USGS gage was 1,330 cfs.

Total April-July modified unregulated inflow for this year totaled 1.16 maf, or 158 percent of average.

Releases from Navajo Dam are made for authorized purposes of the Navajo Unit and are pursuant to the Record of Decision for the Navajo Reservoir Operations.

Preliminary modified-unregulated inflow into Navajo (inflow adjusted for upstream change in storage, reservoir evaporation and exportation from the basin) in July was 171 kaf (259 percent of average for the month).

Forecast modified-unregulated inflow to Navajo over the next three months (August, September, and October) are projected to be: 48 kaf (106 percent of average), 42 kaf (97 percent of average), and 45 kaf (96 percent of average), respectively.

A maintenance release was conducted from Navajo Dam from June 3rd through June 15th. The release peaked at 5,000 cfs on June 12th.  The reservoir is likely to peak in the next several days at an elevation near 6075.5 ft.

The San Juan River Recovery Implementation Program (SJRIP) has requested Available Water over the End of Water Year Storage Target of 6063 ft be used to augment baseflows in the critical habitat reach (Farmington to Lake Powell), as recommended in the Flow Recommendations decision tree (1999, updated 2016).  Available water over this target will be used to increase the downstream target baseflow to 1500 cfs through September, as long as excess water is available. Starting in November, the target baseflow will be set as low as possible (with a minimum of 500 cfs) for two weeks, by reducing the release as low as possible, as low as 250 cfs (ROD, 2006).  By mid-November, the release will resume normal operations, in an attempt to maintain the typical target baseflow range of 500 - 1000 cfs.  Releases will likely range from 800 – 1500 cfs throughout the remainder of the summer.

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 Unit Coordination Meeting will be held Wednesday, August 21st, 2019 at 1:00 pm at the Farmington Civic Center (200 West Arrington, Farmington, NM).

Susan Behery
sbehery@usbr.gov

Contact

Please contact the Operations Group via e-mail at ResourceMgr@usbr.gov for additional information.

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Last Updated: 8/19/19