Last Updated: December 6th, 2022
***Notices for the latest release changes are posted here. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 970-385-6560 for questions or updates***
Navajo Reservoir – On December 5th, the daily average release rate from Navajo Dam was 350 cfs while reservoir inflow was averaging 320 cfs. The water surface elevation was 6019.37 feet above sea level. At this elevation the live storage is 0.860 maf (52% of live storage capacity) and the active storage is 0.234 maf (23% of active storage capacity). No water is currently being diverted to the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project (NIIP) as they have shut down operations for the irrigation season. No water is being diverted to the San Juan-Chama Project (SJC) due to insufficient instream flows above Navajo.
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. Releases target the San Juan River Recovery Implementation Program's (SJRIP) recommended downstream baseflow range of 500 cfs to 1,000 cfs through the critical habitat reach of the San Juan River (Farmington, NM to Lake Powell).
Preliminary modified unregulated inflow (MUI) into Navajo in November was 23.1 kaf, which was 86% of average for the month. The release averaged 310 cfs and totaled 18.6 kaf, which was 67% of average for the month.
The most probable MUI forecast for December, January, and February is 18 kaf (87% of average), 17 kaf (85% of average), and 21 kaf (78% of average), respectively. Current storage levels and forecasts suggest Navajo has a 7% chance of conducting a spring peak release in the spring of WY 2023, and conversely, a 7% chance of experiencing a shortage in the fall of WY 2023, based on 1991 - 2020 hydrology.
Releases over the winter may be decreased as low as 250 cfs to save water, as described in the Navajo Record of Decision (2006) if conditions allow.
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 meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 17th, 2023 at 1:00 PM. This meeting is open to the public, and will be held at the Farmington Civic Center, 200 West Arrington, in Farmington, New Mexico (subject to change based on guidance at the time). The meeting will also have a virtual option.
Please contact the Operations Group via e-mail at ResourceMgr@usbr.gov for additional information.