Navajo Nation Watershed Study

Navajo Nation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District have partnered to conduct a watershed study for the Dinnebito, Oraibi, Polacca, and Jeddito sub-watersheds of the Little Colorado River watershed.

What is a watershed?

A watershed is the area of land where all the water that falls in it drains off of it and flows into a common outlet. 

What is a watershed study?

A watershed study is an investigation of a geographic area that comprises a large watershed, or a set of smaller sub-watersheds, that human communities rely on for physical, societal, and economic well-being, and that ecological communities rely on for sustainability. 

A watershed study relies on a highly collaborative process where a shared vision is established at the beginning of the study, with multiple partners and stakeholders, to determine what will be investigated and how the shared vision will be achieved. Using this framework, the Watershed Management Plan will describe the results of the study and any recommendations that are developed. 

The purpose of this final product is to provide a strategic road-map for the future of the watershed. 

The Plan will not recommend a specific project for implementation, but will describe the strategy needed to address the multitude of problems identified in the study. Such a strategy will include existing authorities and sources of funding that can be applied to various problem areas, as well as identify any existing gaps in knowledge where additional studies may be warranted. 

These recommendations will cover a broad array of authorities, to include the Corps, or other federal, state, or tribal programs. 

How do I find more information or provide comments?

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact Kim Gavigan at 602-230-6902 or Mr. Jason John, Navajo Nation Department of Natural Resources, Water Management Branch Manager, at 928-729-4004. Additional input, questions or comments, can also be submitted at

Initiate Study

On May 22-24, 2018, Navajo Nation and the Corps held a “charette,” or a set of collaborative kick-off meetings, in Piñon and Twin Arrows. The groups discussed the problems affecting the watershed and opportunities for improving the watershed, identified the goals and objectives for the study, and started a dialog on the shared vision for the Watershed Management Plan.