Navajo Dam Technical Working Group
Purpose and Participation
In response to the recommendations from the CDC, local authorities, and Department of Interior guidance, the August edition of the Navajo Unit Operations Coordination Meeting was held virtually. An operations and activities report from the meeting was emailed along with slides, and is available to download below in the archives.
The purpose of these meetings, held annually in January, April, and August, is to gather stakeholder input for determining upcoming operations for Navajo Reservoir. This input is used in Reclamation’s development of an overall 24-month study for operation of Reclamation projects in the Upper Colorado River Basin, which includes plans for Glen Canyon, Flaming Gorge, Aspinall Unit and Navajo. 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.
Full documentation is available to download below in the Archives in PDF form.
• WY 2021 April-July runoff was poor throughout the San Juan River Basin. Navajo Modified Unregulated Inflow totaled 378 kaf which was 51% of average.
• There was no spring peak release. Releases varied from 300 –900 cfs throughout WY 2021.
• Drought conditions have improved in the Four Corners due to rains but drought still persists and is still at its maximum D4 level in many places. Soil moisture has also improved due to rains.
• In November and December of 2021, releases are scheduled to increase in response to a continual declining dry hydrologic condition for the Colorado River system. This drought operation is implemented under the Upper Basin Drought Response Operations Agreement. The maximum flexibility within the Record of Decision will be used to release an additional 20,000 af on top of base releases. Notification of releases will occur prior to the scheduled release change.
• Based on current storage and streamflows and the statistical range of likely hydrologies for WY 2022, there is a 25% chance for a spring peak release. The median runoff forecast is for 83% of average.
• The statistical “average” range will soon be migrated from 1981 –2010 to the 1991 –2020.
The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 18th, 2022 at 1:00 PM, most likely in a virtual format. A meeting notice with conferencing details will be sent out prior to the meeting date. If you would like to be on this email list, please send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Visit the Navajo Dam website at https://www.usbr.gov/uc/water/crsp/cs/nvd.html for operational updates.