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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
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....

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

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Discussion Starter #2
Update- sorry, 33 days, not 35. See public notice below.

Susan
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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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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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Discussion Starter #4
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/pdf/DOC_Flow_recommendations_San_Juan_River.pdf

Susan
 

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I got a Mexican Hat to Clay Hills permit for 5/13.....help a brother out!! ;-)


The police never find it as funny as you do
 

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Discussion Starter #6
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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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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Discussion Starter #8
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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Discussion Starter #10
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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Thanks Susan!

Anybody have beta on the San Juan at 10k? Different Rapids? All flushed? Camps?


Sent from my iPhone using Mountain Buzz
 

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Discussion Starter #14
May update- no major changes to the total length, still looking like about a month at peak, and the start date for ramping up (ramp up will take 5 days) will most likely either be May 16th (40% chance) or May 23rd (60% chance).

The do-or-die date doesn't have to be decided until just a week or so before we start, so I'll keep re-evaluating until then. We're just watching weather. A warm spell is supposed to start next week, and depending on how fast it starts moving water, we'll decide which date to start. i.e. if it warms up fast, we'll start earlier).

Still hoping for 8-10,000 cfs downstream when the release is combined with the Animas at it's peak.

I'll post an official update with more official numbers looking more officialish later this week, but for now that's about where we're at.

Susan
 

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Discussion Starter #15
As promised here's the official language update. Not much has changed since mid-April, now we are ramping up over 5 days, holding 31 days at peak (5,000 cfs) followed by a 12-day ramp down. The start date is either May 16th (30% chance) or May 23rd (70% chance). Once our release combines with the Animas River we are still expecting peak flows between 8,000 cfs and 10,000 cfs down near Mexican Hat, it will just depend on what shape the Animas runoff takes.

Let me know if you have 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

May 3, 2016


The May update to the most probable forecast for the April – July modified unregulated inflow volume to Navajo Reservoir is 520,000 acre-feet, an increase of 5,000 acre-feet since the last forecast. This is 71% of the 30 year average. Snowpack above Navajo is currently 76% of average. Navajo reservoir current content is 1,496,000 acre-feet, which is 88% full (80% of active storage). Current reservoir elevation is 6070.1 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 a spring peak release consisting of a 5-day ramp up to 5,000 cfs, up to 31 days at 5,000 cfs, followed by a 12-day ramp back down to the base release. The ramp-up date is dependent on weather, and will most likely be either May 16th (30% chance) or May 23 (70% chance). The final date will be decided one week before ramp-up begins.

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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Discussion Starter #16
Folks-

Just a quick timing update. The weather has been very wishy-washy lately, which has made it difficult to pinpoint a start date. Based on the weather and forecast, we are putting the spring peak release start date most likely at May 23rd, though it could be a few days beforehand if the weather warms up faster. I will post notice here a week before we start.

What does this mean down at Mexican Hat though? Our ramp up to 5,000 cfs takes 5 days, and it takes another 2-3 to make it down to Mexican Hat. That means you won't see the full force of our peak down there a full week after we start (until around the 30th, though it should still look pretty fun over Memorial Day weekend). When combined with the Animas we're hoping for 8,000 cfs plus in the first week or two of June when it peaks.

Call or email if I'm still clear as mud, and I'll be glad to make it muddier.

Susan

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