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San Juan Watershed

Water resources in the San Juan watershed, which encompasses the San Juan and Animas Rivers and Lake Powell, are essential for recreational, agricultural, cultural, and residential uses. Potential contamination sources within the watershed include historic mining activities that disturbed the land and exacerbated naturally occurring mineralization. In 2016, under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, the U.S. Congress authorized appropriations of $4 million per year in 2017–2021 for a long-term water quality monitoring program for the San Juan watershed.

Current activities

EPA and the states and tribes adjoining the watershed - Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, the Navajo Nation, the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe - are working together to develop and implement the long-term water quality monitoring program. They will:

  • Conduct collaborative annual water quality and sediment monitoring and determine the need for additional monitoring,
  • Communicate information about the condition of the watershed to the public,
  • Carry out targeted monitoring and research activities to inform state and tribe-specific decision-making for the watershed.