Dams in the Colorado River system

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Map showing locations of major dams in the Colorado River basin. Lee's Ferry, which separates the Upper and Lower Basins, is located just downriver from Glen Canyon Dam.

This is a list of dams in the Colorado River system of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. The Colorado runs 1,450 mi (2,330 km) from the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of California, draining parts of seven U.S. states and two Mexican states. The river system is one of the most heavily developed in the world, with fifteen dams on the main stem of the Colorado and hundreds more on tributaries. Collectively, dams in the Colorado River basin can hold four to five times the river's annual flow, generating hydroelectricity and supplying irrigation and municipal water for over 35 million people.

Dams on tributaries are listed if they are taller than 250 ft (76 m), store more than 50,000 acre·ft (62,000 dam3), or are otherwise historically notable. Tributary dams are organized into two lists; those in the Upper Basin, defined as the half of the Colorado River basin above Lee's Ferry, Arizona, and the Lower Basin. The Upper Basin include such tributary systems as the Green, Gunnison and San Juan. Tributaries in the Lower Basin include the Little Colorado, Virgin and Gila.

Notes:

  • Flood control: Temporary retention and quick release of flood flows
  • Hydropower: Generation of electricity utilizing water flow through the hydraulic head provided by the dam and reservoir
  • Irrigation: Provision and storage of water for agriculture
  • Municipal: Provision and storage of water for residential, commercial and industrial uses
  • Regulation: To control erratic inflows to provide either a stable flow downstream or to release water on demand to downstream users

Main stem[edit]

Parker Dam (AZ-CA) 
Hoover Dam (AZ-NV) 
Granby Dam (CO) 
Name State Owner Purpose Year
completed
Reservoir Reservoir
capacity
Capacity
(MW)
Annual
generation
(MWh)
Refs
Morelos Dam  AZ
 BC
IBWC Irrigation 1950 N/A N/A N/A N/A [1]
Laguna Diversion Dam  AZ
 CA
USBR Diversion 1905 N/A N/A N/A N/A [2]
Imperial Dam  AZ
 CA
USBR Irrigation 1938 Imperial Reservoir 160,000 acre.ft
(197,400 dam3)
N/A N/A [n 1][3]
Palo Verde Dam  AZ
 CA
USBR Diversion 1958 N/A N/A N/A N/A [4]
Headgate Rock Dam  AZ
 CA
BIA Irrigation 1941 Moovalya Lake N/A 19.5 ? [5][6]
Parker Dam  AZ
 CA
USBR Hydropower
Irrigation
Municipal
1938 Lake Havasu 646,200 acre.ft
(797,100 dam3)
120 456,944 [7]
Davis Dam  AZ
 NV
USBR Hydropower
Regulation
1951 Lake Mohave 1,818,300 acre.ft
(2,242,800 dam3)
255 1,147,673 [8][9]
Hoover Dam  AZ
 NV
USBR Flood control
Hydropower
Irrigation
Municipal
Regulation
1936 Lake Mead 28,945,000 acre.ft
(35,702,400 dam3)
2,079 3,806,935 [10][11]
Glen Canyon Dam  AZ USBR Flood control
Hydropower
Regulation
1966 Lake Powell 26,214,900 acre.ft
32,334,900 dam3)
1,296 3,454,847 [12][13]
Price-Stubb Dam  CO PCID[n 2]
MCID[n 3]
Irrigation 1911 N/A N/A N/A N/A [n 4][14]
Grand Valley Diversion Dam  CO USBR Irrigation 1916 N/A N/A 3 19,350 [15]
Windy Gap Dam  CO Northern Water Irrigation
Municipal
1970 Windy Gap Reservoir 445 acre.ft
(549 dam3)
N/A N/A [16]
Granby Dam  CO USBR Irrigation
Municipal
1950 Lake Granby 539,800 acre.ft
(665,800 dam3)
N/A N/A [17]
Shadow Mountain Dam  CO USBR Irrigation
Municipal
1946 Shadow Mountain Lake 18,400 acre.ft
(22,700 dam3)
N/A N/A [18]
Total 58,343,045 acre.ft
(71,963,595 dam3)
3,772.5 8,885,749

Upper Basin[edit]

McPhee Dam (CO) 
Navajo Dam (NM) 
Name State Stream Owner Purpose Year
completed
Reservoir Reservoir
capacity
Capacity
(MW)
Annual
generation
(MWh)
Refs
Blue Mesa Dam  CO Gunnison USBR Flood control
Hydropower
Regulation
1966 Blue Mesa Reservoir 940,700 acre.ft
(1,160,300 dam3)
86.4 203,412 [19]
Dillon Dam  CO Blue Denver Water Irrigation
Municipal
1963 Dillon Reservoir 257,304 acre.ft
(317,373 dam3)
1.8 ? [20][21]
Flaming Gorge Dam  UT Green USBR Flood control
Hydropower
Regulation
1964 Flaming Gorge Reservoir 3,788,700 acre.ft
(4,673,200 dam3)
153 344,369 [22]
Fontenelle Dam  WY Green USBR Flood control
Irrigation
1964 Fontenelle Reservoir 345,360 acre.ft
(426,990 dam3)
10 67,043 [23]
Green Mountain Dam  CO Blue USBR Hydropower
Regulation
1943 Green Mountain Reservoir 153,639 acre.ft
(189,507 dam3)
21.6 60,228 [24][25]
Joes Valley Dam  UT Seely Cr. USBR Irrigation
Municipal
1966 Joes Valley Reservoir 54,920 acre.ft
(67,740 dam3)
N/A N/A [26]
McPhee Dam  CO Dolores USBR Flood control
Irrigation
1984 McPhee Reservoir 381,195 acre.ft
(470,187 dam3)
1.283 5,335 [27][28]
Morrow Point Dam  CO Gunnison USBR Hydropower 1968 Morrow Point Reservoir 117,190 acre.ft
(144,550 dam3)
173.334 292,887 [29][30]
Navajo Dam  NM San Juan USBR Flood control
Irrigation
Municipal
Regulation
1962 Navajo Lake 1,708,600 acre.ft
(2,107,500 dam3)
32 215,000 [n 5][31][32]
Ridges Basin Dam  CO Offstream USBR Irrigation 2007 Lake Nighthorse 120,000 acre.ft
(148,000 dam3)
N/A N/A [33]
Ridgway Dam  CO Uncompahgre USBR Flood control
Irrigation
1987 Ridgway Reservoir 84,410 acre.ft
(104,120 dam3)
N/A N/A [34]
Ruedi Dam  CO Fryingpan USBR Irrigation
Municipal
1968 Ruedi Reservoir 102,000 acre.ft
(125,800 dam3)
N/A N/A [35]
Scofield Dam  UT Price USBR Irrigation
Municipal
1946 Scofield Reservoir 73,600 acre.ft
(90,780 dam3)
N/A N/A [36]
Soldier Creek Dam  UT Strawberry USBR Irrigation
Municipal
1974 Strawberry Reservoir 1,127,610 acre.ft
(1,390,860 dam3)
N/A N/A [37]
Starvation Dam  UT Strawberry USBR Irrigation 1970 Starvation Reservoir 167,300 acre.ft
(206,400 dam3)
N/A N/A [38]
Taylor Park Dam  CO Taylor USBR Irrigation 1937 Taylor Park Reservoir 106,200 acre.ft
(130,990 dam3)
N/A N/A [39]
Vallecito Dam  CO Los Pinos River USBR Irrigation 1941 Vallecito Reservoir 129,700 acre.ft
(160,000 dam3)
N/A N/A [40]
Williams Fork Dam  CO Williams Fork Denver Water Irrigation
Municipal
1959 Williams Fork Reservoir 96,822 acre.ft
(119,426 dam3)
3.158 ? [41]
Wolford Mountain Dam  CO Muddy Cr. CRWCD[n 6] Irrigation
Municipal
1996 Wolford Mountain Reservoir 66,000 acre.ft
(81,400 dam3)
N/A N/A [42]
Total 9,821,250 acre.ft
(12,114,080 dam3)
482.575 1,188,274

Lower Basin[edit]

Name State Stream Owner Purpose Year
completed
Reservoir Reservoir
capacity
Capacity
(MW)
Annual
generation
(MWh)
Refs
Alamo Dam  AZ Bill Williams USACE Flood control 1968 Alamo Lake 1,043,000 acre.ft
(1,286,500 dam3)
N/A N/A [43]
Bartlett Dam  AZ Verde USBR Flood control
Irrigation
1939 Bartlett Lake 176,186 acre.ft
(217,318 dam3)
N/A N/A [44]
Coolidge Dam  AZ Gila BIA Flood control
Irrigation
1930 San Carlos Lake 910,000 acre.ft
(1,122,400 dam3)
N/A N/A [45]
Horse Mesa Dam  AZ Salt USBR Hydropower
Regulation
1927 Apache Lake 245,138 acre.ft
(302,367 dam3)
129 126,900 [n 7][47]
Horseshoe Dam  AZ Verde USBR Flood control
Regulation
1946 Horseshoe Lake 131,500 acre.ft
(162,200 dam3)
N/A N/A [48]
Mormon Flat Dam  AZ Salt USBR Hydropower
Regulation
1925 Canyon Lake 57,852 acre.ft
(71,358 dam3)
60 65,400 [n 8][49]
New Waddell Dam  AZ Agua Fria USBR Irrigation
Municipal
1994 Lake Pleasant 1,108,600 acre.ft
(1,367,409 dam3)
45 ? [50]
Painted Rock Dam  AZ Gila USACE Flood control 1960 Painted Rock Reservoir 2,491,700 acre.ft
(3,073,400 dam3)
N/A N/A [51]
Sand Hollow Dam  UT Offstream WCWCD[n 9] Irrigation
Municipal
2002 Sand Hollow Reservoir 51,360 acre.ft
(63,350 dam3)
N/A N/A [51]
Stewart Mountain Dam  AZ Salt USBR Hydropower
Regulation
1930 Saguaro Lake 69,765 acre.ft
(86,052 dam3)
13 57,700 [n 10][52]
Theodore Roosevelt Dam  AZ Salt USBR Flood control
Hydropower
Irrigation
Municipal
1911 Theodore Roosevelt Lake 2,910,200 acre.ft
(3,589,600 dam3)
36 123,900 [n 11][53]
Total 9,195,301 acre.ft
(11,342,000 dam3)
283 373,900

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Reservoir capacity given is the original capacity in 1938 before siltation.
  2. ^ Palisade County Irrigation District
  3. ^ Mesa County Irrigation District
  4. ^ Dam went out of operation in 1919 after the completion of the Grand Valley Diversion Dam upstream, but remains in place
  5. ^ Annual power generation calculated from a power station hydraulic head of 381.6 ft (116.3 m) and average annual flow of 1,082 cu ft/s (30.6 m3/s) in the San Juan River below the dam, 1963–2012.
  6. ^ Colorado River Water Conservation District
  7. ^ Annual generation calculated from a hydraulic head of 255 ft (78 m) and an average Salt River flow of 962 cu ft/s (27.2 m3/s).[46]
  8. ^ Annual generation calculated from a hydraulic head of 131.5 ft (40.1 m) and an average Salt River flow of 962 cu ft/s (27.2 m3/s).[46]
  9. ^ Washington County Water Conservation District
  10. ^ Annual generation calculated from a hydraulic head of 116 ft (35 m) and an average Salt River flow of 962 cu ft/s (27.2 m3/s).[46]
  11. ^ Annual generation calculated from a hydraulic head of 249 ft (76 m) and an average Salt River flow of 962 cu ft/s (27.2 m3/s).[46]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.ibwc.state.gov/Water_Data/Colorado/Index.html
  2. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Facility.jsp?fac_Name=Laguna+Diversion+Dam
  3. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Facility.jsp?fac_Name=Imperial+Diversion+Dam&groupName=General
  4. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Facility.jsp?fac_Name=Palo+Verde+Diversion+Dam
  5. ^ http://www.waterrights.ca.gov/IID/IIDHearingData/LocalPublish/CRIT4.pdf
  6. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/g4000/hourly/HeadgateReport.pdf
  7. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Facility.jsp?fac_Name=Parker+Dam
  8. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Facility.jsp?fac_Name=Davis+Dam
  9. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Powerplant.jsp?fac_Name=Davis%20Powerplant
  10. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Facility.jsp?fac_Name=Hoover+Dam
  11. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Powerplant.jsp?fac_Name=Hoover%20Powerplant
  12. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Facility.jsp?fac_Name=Glen+Canyon+Dam&groupName=Overview
  13. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Powerplant.jsp?fac_Name=Glen%20Canyon%20Powerplant
  14. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/uc/wcao/envprog/pdfs/PriceStubbFP-ba.pdf
  15. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Project.jsp?proj_Name=Grand+Valley+Project
  16. ^ http://www.northernwater.org/WaterProjects/WindyGapProject.aspx
  17. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Facility.jsp?fac_Name=Granby%20Dam
  18. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Facility.jsp?fac_Name=Shadow+Mountain+Dam&groupName=Overview
  19. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Facility.jsp?fac_Name=Blue%20Mesa%20Dam
  20. ^ http://www.denverwater.org/recreation/dillon.html
  21. ^ http://www.waterpowermagazine.com/features/featuresteely-dam-repair-work-at-dillion-spillway
  22. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Facility.jsp?fac_Name=Flaming+Gorge+Dam&groupName=General
  23. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Facility.jsp?fac_Name=Fontenelle%20Dam
  24. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Facility.jsp?fac_Name=Green+Mountain+Dam&groupName=Overview
  25. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Powerplant.jsp?fac_Name=Green%20Mountain%20Powerplant
  26. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Facility.jsp?fac_Name=Joes+Valley+Dam&groupName=Overview
  27. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Facility.jsp?fac_Name=McPhee+Dam
  28. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Powerplant.jsp?fac_Name=McPhee%20Powerplant
  29. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Facility.jsp?fac_Name=Morrow+Point+Dam
  30. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Powerplant.jsp?fac_Name=Morrow%20Point%20Powerplant
  31. ^ http://wdr.water.usgs.gov/wy2012/pdfs/09355500.2012.pdf
  32. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/uc/rm/crsp/navajo/index.html
  33. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=19521
  34. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Facility.jsp?fac_Name=Ridgway%20Dam
  35. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Project.jsp?proj_Name=Fryingpan-Arkansas%20Project
  36. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Facility.jsp?fac_Name=Scofield%20Dam
  37. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Facility.jsp?fac_Name=Soldier+Creek+Dam&groupName=Overview
  38. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Facility.jsp?fac_Name=Starvation+Dam
  39. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Project.jsp?proj_Name=Uncompahgre%20Project
  40. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Facility.jsp?fac_Name=Vallecito+Dam&groupName=Overview
  41. ^ http://www.denverwater.org/Recreation/WilliamsFork/
  42. ^ http://www.crwcd.org/page_21
  43. ^ http://www.azwater.gov/azdwr/StatewidePlanning/RuralPrograms/OutsideAMAs_PDFs_for_web/Upper_Colorado_River_Planning_Area/Bill_Williams_Watershed.pdf
  44. ^ http://www.srpnet.com/water/dams/bartlett.aspx
  45. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20011031185425/http://www.usbr.gov/cdams/dams/coolidge.html
  46. ^ a b c d http://wdr.water.usgs.gov/wy2012/pdfs/09502000.2012.pdf
  47. ^ http://www.srpnet.com/water/dams/horsemesa.aspx
  48. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Facility.jsp?fac_Name=Horseshoe+Dam&groupName=Overview
  49. ^ http://www.srpnet.com/water/dams/mormon.aspx
  50. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Facility.jsp?fac_Name=New+Waddell+Dam&groupName=Overview
  51. ^ a b http://www.crrel.usace.army.mil/library/specialreports/SR99_06.pdf
  52. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Facility.jsp?fac_Name=Stewart+Mountain+Dam
  53. ^ http://www.usbr.gov/projects/Facility.jsp?fac_Name=Theodore+Roosevelt+Dam&groupName=Overview