Last Updated: May 28, 2019
***The spring 2019 maintenance release has been scheduled to begin ramp-up on June 3rd. Notices for release changes are being posted on the notices page (click here!). Email email@example.com or call 970-385-6560 for questions***
As of May 6th, 2019, the daily average release rate from Navajo Dam is approximately 400 cfs while reservoir inflow is averaging approximately 3,370 cfs. The water surface elevation is 6043.59 feet above sea level and is steadily increasing. At this elevation the live storage is 1.15 maf (68 percent of live storage capacity) and the active storage is 0.490 maf (47 percent of active storage capacity). The river flow measured at the San Juan River at Four Corners USGS gage is 2,430 cfs. River flow at the Animas River at Farmington USGS gage is at 1,980 cfs.
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, Navajo Unit – San Juan River New Mexico, Colorado, Utah Final Environmental Impact Statement. Releases from Navajo Dam are managed 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.
Preliminary modified-unregulated inflow into Navajo (inflow adjusted for upstream change in storage, reservoir evaporation and exportation from the basin) in April was 230 kaf (135 percent of average for the month). SNOTEL sites above Navajo are at 143% of median for this day with 25.6 inches of SWE on average per site. The SWE above Navajo peaked at 29.9 inches (148% of historical median peak) on April 5th.
Forecast modified-unregulated inflow to Navajo over the next three months (May, June, and July) are projected to be: 345,000 af (125 percent of average), 290,000 af (130 percent of average), and 65,000 af (99 percent of average), respectively.
The April through July runoff forecasts are as follows:
Min Probable: 810,000 af (110 percent of average)
Most Probable: 930,000 af (126 percent of average)
Max Probable: 1,060,000 af (144 percent of average)
Based on current storage and long-term projections, Navajo is nearly certain to fill to at least 6050 ft and has a 70% chance of filling to at least 6060 ft in the spring of 2019.
Based on the current Most Probable projection, a short-duration maintenance release is being planned. This planned release will include a 5-7 day ramp up to 5,000 cfs, five days at 5,000 cfs, and a 3-day ramp back down to base release. The release timing will target the peak date on the Animas River, which will depend on evolving weather. If conditions allow, the peak may be extended by a day or two.
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 Tuesday, August 20th at 1pm at the Farmington Civic Center (200 West Arrington, Farmington, NM).