Navajo Reservoir

Navajo Dam

Current Status

Navajo Reservoir – The current (June 13, 2018) release rate from Navajo Dam is 650 cfs and the observed inflow to Navajo Reservoir is 180 cfs. (click for daily data) The Navajo Indian Irrigation Project (NIIP) is diverting 810 cfs.  The reservoir elevation is 6047.8 feet which corresponds to a live storage of 1.201 maf (71 percent of live storage capacity).  This elevation also corresponds to an active storage of 0.538 maf (52 percent of active storage capacity).  The river flow measured at the San Juan River at Four Corners USGS gage is 570 cfs.  River flow at the Animas River at Farmington USGS gage is at 240 cfs.  Releases from Navajo Dam are made for the authorized purposes of the Navajo Unit, and pursuant to the 2006 Record of Decision, 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. See all public notices here.

Preliminary modified-unregulated inflow into Navajo in May was 88,244 acre-feet, which was 86 percent of average for the month.  Modified-unregulated inflow to Navajo over the next three months (June, July, and August) are projected to be: 10,000 af (5 percent of average), 6,000 af (9 percent of average), and 25,000 af (55 percent of average), respectively.  

The April-July modified-unregulated inflow runoff forecasts are as follows:
Min Probable:  161,000 acre-feet (22 percent of average, a decrease of 5,000 acre-feet since the last forecast)
Most Probable: 174,000 acre-feet (24 percent of average, a decrease of 11,000 acre-feet since the last forecast)
Max Probable: 191,000 acre-feet (26 percent of average, a decrease of 24,000 acre-feet since the last forecast

A short release of 2,000 cfs for 2 hours was requested by the NM Department of Game and Fish to aid in a habitat project in the tailwater reach below Navajo Dam.  One of the purposes of this project is to curb sediment input entering the San Juan River in this area.  Reclamation complied with this request by ramping up in the evening of June 5, 2018 and then peaking at 2,000 cfs for two hours mid-day on June 6, 2018 and ramping down of June 7, 2018. Total release over base releases was approximately 1300 af.  Reclamation also coordinated with state and local agencies during this event for awareness and safety.  Releases for the remainder of the runoff season will be made to maintain the minimum target baseflow in the critical habitat reach and will likely range from 300 to 700 cfs. 

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 Public Operations Coordination Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, August 21st 2018, at 1p.m. at the Farmington Civic Center, Farmington, NM.

Susan Behery
June 14th, 2018





Additional Information

Last Updated: 6/19/18