Navajo Reservoir

Navajo Dam

Current Status

Last Updated: April 8th, 2021

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

Navajo Reservoir On April 7th, the daily average release rate from Navajo Dam was 400 cfs while reservoir inflow was averaging approximately 1,052 cfs. The water surface elevation was 6033.6 feet above sea level. At this elevation the live storage is 1.045 maf (61 percent of live storage capacity) and the active storage is 0.383 maf (37 percent of active storage capacity). NIIP is diverting 233 cfs.  The San Juan-Chama project is currently diverting 264 cfs from the basin above the reservoir.  The river flow measured at the Animas River at Farmington USGS gage was at 249 cfs. River flow at the San Juan River at Four Corners USGS gage was 488 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. 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 350 and 600 cfs to accomplish this for the remainder of winter and early spring. The current calculated baseflow average is 473 cfs, which is just below the SJRIP’s recommended range. A release increase has been scheduled to bring the target baseflow back up to 500 cfs.

Navajo was at 6033.3 ft of pool elevation and 1,042,226 acre-ft of storage by the end of March, which was 81 percent of average for the end of the month. The release averaged 410 cfs (as measured at the USGS San Juan at Archuleta gage) and totaled 25,079 af, which was 43 percent of average for the month.  Preliminary modified unregulated inflow (MUI) into Navajo was 24,545 af.  Calculated evaporation for the month was 1,316 af.   Navajo had a net storage loss of 9,714 af in March.

The most probable MUI forecast (adjusted to include observed flows and the short term forecast) for April, May, and June, is 82 kaf (48 percent of average), 155 kaf (56 percent of average), and 125 kaf (56 percent of average), respectively.  

The April-July runoff forecasts are as follows:
Min Probable: 270 kaf (37 percent of average, an increase of 25 kaf since the last forecast)
Most Probable: 395 kaf (54 percent of average, no change since the last forecast)
Max Probable: 565 kaf (77 percent of average, a decrease of 40 kaf since the last forecast)

Based on the current storage levels and inflow forecast, there is no planned spring peak release this year.

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, April 20th, 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: 4/8/21