Water Planning for the Little Colorado River System

New Mexico State Water Plan

The Interstate Stream Commission in 2003 completed a New Mexico State Water Plan, which may be updated periodically.

Northwest New Mexico Regional Water Plan

Pursuant to the regional water planning program funded and administered through the Interstate Stream Commission, the Northwest New Mexico Council of Governments in 2001 completed its Northwest New Mexico Regional Water Plan. The regional water plan incorporates water planning for non-Indian and Indian water uses, including those of the Navajo Nation within the Little Colorado River and Rio San Jose drainages in New Mexico.

Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project

Construction of the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project was authorized in 2009 by the Northwestern New Mexico Rural Water Projects Act. Main project works include diversion works on the San Juan River and at Cutter Reservoir, main pipelines along US Highways 491 and 550, lateral pipelines, pumping plants, water treatment plants, and storage tanks. The project will deliver water from Navajo Reservoir to Gallup and communities on Navajo Nation lands in both New Mexico and Arizona for municipal and domestic water uses. The project is a key component of the San Juan River Basin in New Mexico Navajo Nation Water Rights Settlement Agreement signed by the State of New Mexico and the Navajo Nation on April 19, 2005. The Bureau of Reclamation in 2009 completed a Planning Report and Final Environmental Impact Statement and the Secretary of the Interior signed an associated Record of Decision for the project. The Fish and Wildlife Service also completed a Biological Opinion for the project in 2009. The authorizing legislation requires that prior to commencement of project construction, the State of New Mexico must enter into a project cost-share agreement with the Bureau of Reclamation, Gallup and the Jicarilla Apache Nation must enter into repayment contracts for their shares of project costs, and Gallup must enter into a contract for water from the Navajo Reservoir supply. The project participants also are required to develop an agreement on project operations and maintenance.