Federal Water Development Projects in the San Juan River Basin

Navajo Dam and Reservoir

Construction of Navajo Dam and Reservoir was authorized by the Colorado River Storage Project Act. Navajo Reservoir supplies either directly or by exchange much of the water use made in New Mexico from the San Juan River stream system. The reservoir is operated to meet water deliveries under contracts for water from the Navajo Reservoir supply and to meet the habitat needs of populations of endangered fish species in the San Juan River below Farmington. In 2006, the Bureau of Reclamation completed an Environmental Impact Statement on Navajo Reservoir Operations and signed an associated Record of Decision on the reservoir operations, and the Fish and Wildlife Service completed a Biological Opinion on the reservoir operations. Reclamation each year prepares an annual operating plan for Navajo Reservoir based on water demands and forecasted water supply conditions.

San Juan-Chama Project

Construction of the initial phase of the San Juan-Chama Project was authorized by Public Law 87-483. The project consists of a system of diversion structures on tributaries to the San Juan River in Colorado and tunnels for transbasin movement of water into the Rio Grande Basin in New Mexico. Purposes of the project are to furnish a water supply to the middle Rio Grande valley for municipal, domestic, industrial and supplemental irrigation uses, and to provide incidental recreation and fish and wildlife benefits. Project participants have entered into repayment contracts or water contracts with Reclamation. Historic operations data for the project are available from the Bureau of Reclamation.

Hammond Irrigation Project

The Hammond Irrigation Project was authorized by the Colorado River Storage Project Act. Major project works include the Hammond Diversion Dam on the San Juan River, the Main Gravity Canal, a hydraulic-turbine-driven pumping plant and an auxiliary pumping plant, three major laterals, minor distribution laterals, and the drainage system. Historic diversion data for the project are available from the Bureau of Reclamation and real time diversions are monitored by the Office of the State Engineer. Office of the State Engineer also has the New Mexico Real Time Water Information System for more real time diversion tracking. The Hammond Conservancy District manages the irrigation distribution system. Water from the Navajo Reservoir supply is made available to the project pursuant to a project repayment contract entered into by the district.

Navajo Indian Irrigation Project

Construction of the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project was authorized by Public Law 87-483. Main project works include a diversion structure in Navajo Reservoir, main and lateral canals, a regulating storage reservoir on Cutter Wash, pumping plants, drainage systems, and sprinklers. Historic diversion data for the project are available from the Bureau of Reclamation. The Bureau of Indian Affairs has historically managed the irrigation distribution system on the project. In 1999, the Bureau completed a Biological Assessment for the project, and the Fish and Wildlife Service completed a Biological Opinion for completion of the project. The Navajo Agricultural Products Industry manages the farming on the project and annually prepares an operations and maintenance report for the project. Water from the Navajo Reservoir supply is made available to the project pursuant to a water supply contract entered into by the Navajo Nation.

Animas-La Plata Project

The Animas-La Plata Project was originally authorized by the Colorado River Basin Projects Act, which also ratified the Animas-La Plata Project Compact to provide an equal priority to the project water supply as between project participants in Colorado and New Mexico. A downscaled version of the project was authorized for construction by the Colorado Ute Settlement Act Amendments of 2000. This project is to develop water for municipal and domestic uses by project participants in Colorado and New Mexico, and its main features include the Ridges Basin Dam and Reservoir, the Durango pumping plant and reservoir inlet conduit, and the Navajo Nation Municipal Pipeline. The San Juan Water Commission and the La Plata Conservancy District have entered into project repayment contracts, and the Navajo Nation will be entering into a water supply contract to receive water from the project. In 2000, the Bureau of Reclamation completed a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and the Secretary of the Interior signed an associated Record of Decision for the project. In 2009, an Intergovernmental Agreement establishing the Animas-La Plata Operations and Maintenance Association was executed by the project participants, and the Association entered into the Animas-La Plata Project Operation, Maintenance, and Replacement Contract with Reclamation. The initial fill of Ridges Basin Reservoir, the project storage facility, is anticipated to be completed by 2012.

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 Upper Colorado River Commission in June 2003 by resolution agreed to the use and accounting of Upper Basin water supplied to the Lower Basin in New Mexico by the project, and in June 2006 by resolution agreed to support the project and a finding that water supply for the project uses in New Mexico is likely to be available. The Secretary of the Interior in 2007 approved a Hydrologic Determination indicating that water to supply the project is reasonably likely to be available from Navajo Reservoir. 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.

Hogback and Fruitland Irrigation Projects

The Bureau of Indian Affairs constructed the Fruitland, Cambridge, Hogback and Cudei irrigation projects along the San Juan River for the benefit of members of the Navajo Nation. Today, the Cudei project receives water from the Hogback Canal and the Cambridge project receives water from the Fruitland Canal. The Bureau of Indian Affairs has plans to rehabilitate the Hogback and Fruitland irrigation projects. Diversion data for these projects are collected by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.