Don Pedro Dam

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Don Pedro Dam
Old Don Pedro Dam and reservoir, circa 1925
Official name Old Don Pedro Dam
Location Tuolumne County, California
Coordinates 37°42′45″N 120°24′07″W / 37.7125°N 120.4020°W / 37.7125; -120.4020
Opening date 1924
Demolition date 1971
Dam and spillways
Type of dam Concrete thick arch/gravity
Impounds Tuolumne River
Height 283 ft (86 m)
Length 1,000 ft (300 m)
Width (crest) 16 ft (4.9 m)
Width (base) 170 ft (52 m)
Creates Don Pedro Reservoir
Total capacity 290,400 acre·ft (358,200,000 m3)
Power station
Turbines 4
Installed capacity 30 MW

The Don Pedro Dam, since 1971 also known as the Old Don Pedro Dam, was a dam across the Tuolumne River in Tuolumne County, California. The structure is currently flooded underneath Don Pedro Reservoir, which is formed by the New Don Pedro Dam.

It was a solid concrete gravity dam that was 283 ft (86 m) high, 1,000 ft (300 m) wide, 16 ft (4.9 m) thick at the crest, and 170 ft (52 m) thick at the base. It was completed in 1923 where the Tuolumne River had carved a narrow gorge with walls of solid rock about a mile (2 km) below Don Pedro Bar. The reservoir created by this dam contained 290,400 acre·ft (358,200,000 m3) of water when full, 14.3% of today's capacity.

A 15 megawatt power plant was part of the dam's original design, and two more 7500 kilowatt generators were added in 1926 for 30 megawatts total, just 15% of today's capacity. The old dam still exists about 1.5 mi (2.4 km) upstream from the new 1971 dam, and since the old dam topped out at just 580 ft (180 m) above sea level it is now under some 250 ft (76 m) of water when the new reservoir is full.


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