Amistad Dam

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Amistad Dam
Country United States / Mexico
Location Val Verde County, Texas / Acuña Municipality, Coahuila
Coordinates 29°27′01″N 101°03′28″W / 29.45028°N 101.05778°W / 29.45028; -101.05778Coordinates: 29°27′01″N 101°03′28″W / 29.45028°N 101.05778°W / 29.45028; -101.05778[1]
Status In use
Construction began 1963
Opening date 1969 (1969)
Construction cost US$72,318,000
Owner(s) International Boundary and Water Commission
Dam and spillways
Type of dam Earthfill
Impounds Rio Grande
Height 254 ft (77 m)
Length 32,022 ft (9,760 m)
Dam volume 17,055,000 cu yd (13,039,000 m3)
Spillway type Ogee crest, 16 tainter gates
Spillway capacity 1,507,000 cu ft/s (42,700 m3/s)
Creates Amistad Reservoir
Total capacity 5,658,600 acre·ft (6.9798 km3)
Surface area 64,900 acres (26,300 ha)
Power station
Hydraulic head 234 ft (71 m)
Turbines 9
Installed capacity 132 MW

Amistad Dam is a large dam across the Rio Grande on the United States-Mexico border. It serves to store water for irrigation and generate hydroelectricity. The dam was first proposed in a 1944 treaty between the United States and Mexico. Construction began in 1963 and was finished in 1969, with the hydroelectric plants constructed in the 1980s. Of the dam's roughly US$72 million cost, Mexico shouldered about 4/7 of the funds and the United States about 3/7. At roughly 5 miles (8.0 km) long, the dam lies mostly on the Mexican side of the border and forms Amistad Reservoir.[2]

The dam is owned and operated by the International Boundary and Water Commission, and also facilitates the Amistad Dam Port of Entry.


  1. ^ "Amistad Dam". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. 1979-11-30. Retrieved 2011-01-26. 
  2. ^ "Amistad Dam and Powerplants". CRSP Management Center. Western Area Power Administration. Retrieved 2011-01-25.