Navajo Reservoir

Navajo Dam

Current Status

Last Updated: January 16th 2022

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

Navajo Reservoir - On January 6th the daily average release rate from Navajo Dam was 350 cfs while reservoir inflow was averaging approximately 213 cfs. The water surface elevation was 6020.38 feet above sea level. At this elevation the live storage is 0.869 maf (53 percent of live storage capacity) and the active storage is 0.243 maf (24 percent of active storage capacity). The Navajo Indian Irrigation Project (NIIP) is shut down for the season.  The San Juan-Chama project is not currently diverting from the basin above the reservoir due to low flows.


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 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).  Current modeling shows the release will most likely vary between 250 and 500 throughout the winter.


Preliminary modified unregulated inflow (MUI) into Navajo in December was 14.9 kaf, 72% of average for the month. The volume released downstream totaled 17.9 kaf, which was 62 percent of average for the month.

The most probable MUI forecast for January, February, and March is 15 kaf (75 percent of average), 18 kaf (67 percent of average), and 42 kaf (51 percent of average), respectively.

The April-July runoff forecasts are as follows:
Min Probable: 375 kaf (51% of average)
Most Probable: 550 kaf (75% of average)
Max Probable: 995 kaf (135% of average) 

No spring peak release is expected under any of the three inflow forecasts.  Based on the projected inflows and resulting operations, the reservoir is expected to peak in the spring as follows:
Min Probable: 6032 ft (977 kaf; 59% live capacity)
Most Probable: 6044 ft (1,101 kaf; 67% live capacity)
Max Probable: 6070 ft (1,438 kaf; 87% live capacity)

Beginning October 1st of 2021 (the start of WY 2022), the area-capacity table for Navajo Reservoir was updated based on a 2019 Survey.

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 virtually on Tuesday, January 18th 2022, at 1:00 PM.

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: 1/17/22