Navajo Reservoir

Navajo Dam

Current Status

Last Updated: October 14th, 2020

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

Navajo Reservoir On October 13th, the daily average release rate from Navajo Dam was approximately 700 cfs while reservoir inflow was averaging approximately 117 cfs. The water surface elevation was 6040.9 feet above sea level. At this elevation the live storage is 1.12 maf (66 percent of live storage capacity) and the active storage is 0.461 maf (44 percent of active storage capacity). NIIP has shut down for the season.  The San Juan-Chama project is not currently diverting from the basin above the reservoir.  The river flow measured at the Animas River at Farmington USGS gage was at 32 cfs. River flow at the San Juan River at Four Corners USGS gage was 565 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 was at 6043.0 ft of pool elevation and 1,149,180 acre-ft of storage by the end of September, which was 86% of average for the end of the month. The release averaged 780 cfs and totaled 46,435 af, which was 96% of average for the month.  Preliminary modified unregulated inflow (MUI) into Navajo was -8,312 af.  (The MUI is a calculated number, adjusted for San Juan Chama diversions and change in storage at Vallecito reservoir. The MUI can be negative in very hot dry months when the change in storage at Vallecito is much greater than the observed inflow into Navajo.  The observed inflow into Navajo for the month of September was 16,355 af.)  Calculated evaporation for the month was 2,475 af.   Navajo had a net storage loss of 53,176 af in September.

The most probable inflow forecast for October, November and December, is 12,000 af (25% of average), 18,000 af (54% of average), and 17,000 af (68% of average), respectively.

Releases for the fall and winter will be made to target the San Juan River Recovery Implementation Program's recommended downstream baseflow range of 500 cfs to 800 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 500 and 900 cfs to accomplish this for the remainder of 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 meeting will be conducted either (in-person or virtually, depending on the local and governmental guidance at the time) in late January of 2021.

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: 10/19/20