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Surface Water Conditions in the Little Colorado River Plateau Basin

Streamflow data, including average seasonal flow, average annual flow and other information are shown in Table 2.1-2.  Flood ALERT equipment in the basin is shown in Table 2.1-3.  Reservoir and stockpond data, including maximum storage or maximum surface area, are shown in Table 2.1-4. The location of streamflow gages identified by USGS number, flood ALERT equipment, USGS runoff contours and large reservoirs are shown on Figure 2.1-5.  Additional information on surface water in this basin can be found in Section 2.1.5 - Perennial/Intermittent Streams and Springs and Section 2.0.2 - Surface Water Hydrology. Where available, the header for each section provides a link to the data web site.

Streamflow Data

  • Refer to Table 2.1-2
  • Data from 50 stations, including 28 discontinued stations, are shown in the table and on Figure 2.1-5.  All but one of the active stations are real-time stations. Three additional stations were installed in 2008.
  • The average seasonal flow is highest in the Spring (April-June) from winter snowmelt and spring rains and in the Summer (July-September) from high intensity monsoon storms.
  • High summer season flow was noted at many gages on the Navajo and Hopi reservation. High winter flow (January-March) was recorded at gages near Lakeside, Show Low and Snowflake.
  • The largest annual flow recorded in the basin is 20.3 million acre-feet (maf) in 1984 at the Colorado River at Lees Ferry gage, located downstream of Glen Canyon Dam. Mean flow at this gage is 10.8 maf.  Maximum flow on the Little Colorado River is 587,869 acre-feet at Grand Falls measured in 1941.  (see Figure 2.1-4 for a  stream hydrograph for the Little Colorado River)

Flood ALERT Equipment

  • Refer to Table 2.1-3
  • There were 32 stations in the basin as of October 2005, most located along the Little Colorado River, and in the vicinity of Heber, Snowflake, Show Low and Pinetop-Lakeside.

Reservoirs and Stockponds

  • Refer to Table 2.1-4
  • The basin contains 94 large reservoirs.  The largest, Lake Powell, has a maximum storage of 20.3 million acre-feet.  Most of this storage is not in the basin.
  • Thirty-three large reservoirs are intermittent or dry, particularly those listed in Table 2.1-3B.
  • The most common use of large reservoirs is for recreation (46), followed by fire protection, stock or farm use (33) and for irrigation (30).  Other reservoir uses include hydroelectric power generation, navigation and water supply.
  • Capacity information was available for 416 small reservoirs, which have a combined maximum storage capacity of 13,343 acre-feet.
  • There are 269 small reservoirs for which only surface area data are available with a total surface area of 3,907 acres.
  • There are 6,113 registered stockponds in the basin.

Runoff Contour

  • Refer to Figure 2.1-5.
  • Average annual runoff varies from 5 inches per year, or 265 acre-feet per square mile at higher elevations along the Mogollon Rim and near Greer to 0.1 inches, or five acre-feet per square mile, near the Little Colorado River and along a contour stretching from near Sanders, through Polacca to the northwest corner of the basin.

Click to view Table 2.1-2

Click to view Table 2.1-2 Streamflow Data for the Little Colorado River Plateau Basin

Click to view Figure 2.1-4

Click to view Figure 2.1-4 Annual Flows (acre-feet) at Little Colorado River at Holbrook, water years 1930-2008 (Station #9397000)

Click to view Table 2.1-4 ALERT Equipment

Click to view Table 2.1-3 Flood ALERT Equipment in the Little Colorado River Plateau Basin

Click to view Table 2.1-5

Click to view Table 2.1-4 Reservoirs and Stockponds in the Little Colorado River Plateau Basin

Click to view Figure 2.1-5

Click to view Figure 2.1-5 Little Colorado River Plateau Surface Water Conditions



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