Navajo Operations Update- San Juan River 4/7/16 - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 04-07-2016   #1
 
Durango, Colorado
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Navajo Operations Update- San Juan River 4/7/16

Hi all-

I don't have the public notice ready to post yet but I've been getting lots of questions so I'll just update you on Navajo spring peak release- we're still planning to do about a 35-day spring peak release (3 days to ramp up, 35 days at our maximum release of 5,000 cfs, and a 2-week ramp down to prevent fish stranding). It will most likely start in mid-May, but the timing will change based on what the Animas is doing. We're trying to match the peaks on the two rivers to get the biggest flows possible down at Bluff. If it goes perfectly it could peak out around 8-10k sometime in mid June. It really just depends on how the Animas runs off though. Sometimes Animas has one big peak, sometimes it has four small ones.

We are juggling timing and volume right up to the last minute, so things are likely to change. Feel free to give me a call if you want an update, but we only get new forecasts every two weeks so I may end up sounding like a broken record.

Have a good spring everyone....

---
Susan Novak Behery, P.E.
Hydraulic Engineer
Reclamation
Western Colorado Area Office
Durango, CO
[email protected]
970-385-6560

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Old 04-07-2016   #2
 
Durango, Colorado
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Update- sorry, 33 days, not 35. See public notice below.

Susan
---
Susan Novak Behery, P.E.
Hydraulic Engineer
Reclamation
Western Colorado Area Office
Durango, CO
[email protected]
970-385-6560
__________________________________________________ _____

BUREAU OF RECLAMATION

NAVAJO UNIT FORECAST FOR SPRING OPERATIONS

April 7, 2016


The April update to the most probable forecast for the April July modified unregulated inflow volume to Navajo Reservoir is 530,000 acre-feet, a decrease of 40,000 af since the last forecast. This is 72% of the 30 year average. Snowpack above Navajo is currently 82% of average. Navajo reservoir current content is 1,445,000 acre-feet, which is 85% full (75% of active storage). Current reservoir elevation is 6067.4 ft. A dry spring has contributed to the falling forecast.

As per the 2016 Interim Operations at Navajo Reservoir, releases will be made to target the San Juan River Basin Recovery Implementation Program's (SJRIP) recommended baseflows 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. The reservoir will be operated to target an end of year storage level between 6050 ft and 6063 ft. Water over this target will be made available for a spring peak release.

The most probable forecast results in spring peak release beginning in mid- May with a short 3-day ramp up to 5,000 cfs, 33 days at 5,000 cfs, followed by a 2-week ramp back down to the base release. The shape and timing of the hydrograph may change and will be coordinated with the SJRIP to balance recovery program benefits with potential flood control and operational safety. During spring operations, releases from the Navajo Unit will be made in an attempt to match the peak timing of the Animas River to maximize the peak at the San Juan at Four Corners gage while remaining below the US Army Corps of Engineers safe channel capacity of 5,000 cfs between Navajo and the confluence with the Animas in Farmington, and 12,000 cfs downstream of Farmington.

Projected spring operations will be updated with revisions to the forecast and are highly dependent on tributary flows throughout the San Juan River Basin. If you have any questions, please contact Susan Behery at 970-385-6560 or [email protected].
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Old 04-08-2016   #3
 
Durango South, 4CRS
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Thanks for the updates as usual Susan. Could you share the reason for trying to match your peak with the Animas? Is it just to mimic the natural spring cycle, or aimed more at trying to clean the river bed from silt buildup and heavy metals?
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Old 04-08-2016   #4
 
Durango, Colorado
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The San Juan River Recovery Program recommends certain high flows for certain durations as being essential for shaping habitat and aiding in the recovery of the species downstream. We do our best to shape our releases to these SJRIP purposes when possible. This year they are requesting we put all water available for a spring peak release into one large hydrograph in order to hopefully maximize the number of high flow days downstream. They would ideally like to reach 10,000 cfs. This will of course depend on how the Animas runs off, as Navajo release is only half of the equation. For more info on the purposes of these flows, check out chapter 8 of the SJRIP Flow Recommendations here: https://www.fws.gov/southwest/sjrip/...Juan_River.pdf

Susan
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Old 04-08-2016   #5
 
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I got a Mexican Hat to Clay Hills permit for 5/13.....help a brother out!!


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Old 04-19-2016   #6
 
Durango, Colorado
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Mid-April update:

Not much new to share this time, looking at 31 days at 5000 cfs. Most likely will start about the middle of May. Keep in mind our max release from Navajo is 5,000 cfs, but this release will COMBINE with the Animas to create flows down in the rafting reach. At peak we're hoping to hit 8-10 grand down at Bluff.

Let me know if you have any questions-
Susan
---
Susan Novak Behery, P.E.
Hydraulic Engineer
Reclamation
Western Colorado Area Office
Durango, CO
[email protected]
970-385-6560


BUREAU OF RECLAMATION

NAVAJO UNIT FORECAST FOR SPRING OPERATIONS

April 18, 2016


The April update to the most probable forecast for the April July modified unregulated inflow volume to Navajo Reservoir is 515,000 acre-feet, a decrease of 15,000 acre-feet since the last forecast. This is 70% of the 30 year average. Snowpack above Navajo is currently 80% of average. Navajo reservoir current content is 1,475,000 acre-feet, which is 87% full (78% of active storage). Current reservoir elevation is 6069.5 feet.

As per the 2016 Interim Operations at Navajo Reservoir, releases will be made to target the San Juan River Basin Recovery Implementation Program's (SJRIP) recommended baseflows 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. The reservoir will be operated to target an end of year storage level between 6050 feet and 6063 feet. Water over this target will be made available for a spring peak release.

The most probable forecast results in spring peak release beginning in mid-May with a short 3-day ramp up to 5,000 cfs, 31 days at 5,000 cfs, followed by a 2-week ramp back down to the base release. The shape and timing of the hydrograph may change and will be coordinated with the SJRIP to balance recovery program benefits with potential flood control and operational safety. During spring operations, releases from the Navajo Unit will be made in an attempt to match the peak timing of the Animas River to maximize the peak at the San Juan at Four Corners gage while remaining below the US Army Corps of Engineers safe channel capacity of 5,000 cfs between Navajo and the confluence with the Animas in Farmington, and 12,000 cfs downstream of Farmington.

Projected spring operations will be updated with revisions to the forecast and are highly dependent on tributary flows throughout the San Juan River Basin. If you have any questions, please contact Susan Behery at 970-385-6560 or [email protected].
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Old 04-19-2016   #7
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Awesome! Glad to hear it, will miss out on high water myself, but good news for the ecology of the San Juan River, and the river runners with later permits.
Once again, thank you for keeping us posted Susan!
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Old 04-22-2016   #8
 
Durango, Colorado
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Also if anyone's interested, our public operations meeting is next Tuesday at 1pm in Farmington. Feel free to come by, I bring cookies.
Susan

BUREAU OF RECLAMATION
NAVAJO OPERATIONS
COORDINATION MEETING

SENT VIA FAX AND E-MAIL
April 18th, 2016


The next coordination meeting for the operation of the Navajo Unit will be on Tuesday, April 26, 2016, at 1:00 pm. It will be held at the Farmington Civic Center, 200 West Arrington, in Farmington, New Mexico.

The meeting agenda will include a review of operations and hydrology since January, current soil and snowpack conditions, a discussion of hydrologic forecasts and planned operations for this water year, updates on maintenance activities, and the Recovery Program on the San Juan River.

If you have any suggestions for the agenda or have questions about the meeting, please call Susan Behery at 970-385-6560.
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Old 04-28-2016   #9
 
Almont, Colorado
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Any updates on when in May the 5000 cfs will start? Will be on the lower May 7-11th and looking into anticipated flows. Thanks
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Old 04-28-2016   #10
 
Durango, Colorado
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I don't get another forecast until next week but based on the current weather around here, it's cool and snowy, so the melt hasn't really gotten going in earnest yet. I'd say May 16th or possibly May 23rd as a more likely start date at this point. We have to play it by ear with the weather. Likely no earlier unless it gets very hot very fast.

I'll post another notice here next week after our May inflow and peak forecasts come in.

Susan
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