Low waters in Navajo Lake impact recreation, marina — The #PagosaSprings Sun #SanJuanRiver #ColoradoRiver #COriver #aridification

Navajo Reservoir, New Mexico, back in the day.. View looking north toward marina. The Navajo Dam can be seen on the left of the image. By Timthefinn at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4040102

Click the link to read the article on the Pagosa Springs Sun website (Josh Pike). Here’a an excerpt:

According to the Lake Navajo Water Database, the lake was at 56.4 feet below full pool, an eleva- tion of 6,028.6 feet, on June 12 and at 55.78 percent by volume of full pool on that same date. Before this year, the lowest level that had been observed in Navajo Lake on June 12 in the last 10 years was in 2013, when the lake was at 6,029.17 feet of elevation. Last year, the water level on June 12 was 6,041.47 feet of elevation. The Navajo LakeWater Database also notes that the San Juan and Piedra rivers, which feed Navajo Lake, are at 11.92 percent of their combined aver- age and that inflows for water year 2022, which began on Oct. 1, 2021, and ends on Sept. 30, 2022, are at 89.6 percent of those for water year 2021.

In an interview with The SUN, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Manager for Navajo State Park Brian Sandy explained the impact the low water levels have had on the park. He commented that the low water levels have had a “really negative impact” on the park’s marina and the services it can provide, with the on-the-water fuel pump dock and the pump-out station for houseboats both inactive. He noted that no slips are available at the dock, with the few that remain usable reserved for patrol and rental boats. He added that the water level in the mooring cove is sufficiently low to render most of the mooring balls unusable. Sandy stated that the low water level has had a particularly severe impact on houseboats, many of which depend on the mooring cove and the pump-out station…

Sandy commented that water levels in the reservoir are likely to continue to drop over the season with water commitments for the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project and municipal water for communities including Farmington, N.M., contributing to the decrease in lake levels, along with the drought and high winds.

Sandy added that releases of water from the reservoir also occur for the purposes of improving endangered fish species habitat downstream by raising water levels in rivers.

San Juan River Basin. Graphic credit Wikipedia.

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