The San Juan – Chama Watershed Partnership region contains the entirety of the Rio Chama Basin and the three sub-watershed tributaries to the San Juan River on which the Bureau of Reclamation’s San Juan – Chama Project’s diversions are located: the Navajo River, the Little Navajo River, and the Rio Blanco. The rivers that make up the Partnership’s region are snowpack driven and receive bi-modal precipitation in the form of winter snows and summer monsoons. The region ranges in elevation from 6,000 to 13,000 feet.
The region is home to a diverse mix of riparian vegetation, terrestrial species, and aquatic organisms because of the range of elevations present in the basin. Terrestrial habitats in the watershed include foothills, mountains, sub-alpine, and alpine tundra; and vegetation includes aspen, spruce-fir, mixed conifer forest, and tundra meadows.
A majority of water use in the San Juan-Rio Chama Watershed is devoted to agriculture (either irrigation or livestock grazing) and diversion/storage for municipal uses for downstream users. Other water uses include recreation, wastewater treatment, some commercial/industrial use, and residential use.