Alarcón Dam

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Alarcón Dam
Alarcón Pantano.JPG
Alarcón Dam, at the head of the reservoir
Alarcón Dam is located in Castilla-La Mancha
Alarcón Dam
Location of the Alarcón Dam in Castilla-La Mancha
Alarcón Dam is located in Spain
Alarcón Dam
Location of the Alarcón Dam in Spain
Official namePresa de Alarcón
LocationProvince of Cuenca
Coordinates39°33′54″N 2°6′47″W / 39.56500°N 2.11306°W / 39.56500; -2.11306Coordinates: 39°33′54″N 2°6′47″W / 39.56500°N 2.11306°W / 39.56500; -2.11306
PurposeIrrigation, power
Construction began1941
Opening date1952
Owner(s)Government of Spain
Dam and spillways
Type of damGravity dam
ImpoundsJúcar River
Height (foundation)67 m (220 ft)
Length317 m (1,040 ft)
Elevation at crest814 m (2,671 ft)
Dam volume229,630 m3 (300,340 cu yd)
Spillway capacity1,750 m3/s (62,000 cu ft/s)
Total capacity1,112,000,000 m3 (902,000 acre⋅ft)
Catchment area3,033 km2 (1,171 sq mi)
Surface area6,840 ha (26.4 sq mi)
Commission date1955
Installed capacity56 MW

The Alarcón Dam (Spanish: Presa de Alarcón, Pantano de Alarcón, or Embalse de Alarcón) is a gravity dam on the upper course of the Júcar River. It is located 6 kilometers (4 miles) from Alarcón, in the province of Cuenca, in the autonomous community of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain.

The reservoir formed by the dam has a water capacity of 1,112 cubic hectometers3 (901,513 acre-feet) and spans a surface area of 6,840 hectares (26 square miles). All together, its drainage basin measures 3,033 km2 (1,171 mi2).[1] The dam houses a hydroelectric power plant with an installed power capacity of 56 MW.[2]

The Tagus-Segura Water Transfer, which links two other major rivers, joins the reservoir briefly on its journey south, entering at the northern tail end and mixing its waters with the Júcar.

Construction of the dam began in 1941 through the efforts of Valencian farmers who wanted to stabilize the flow of the river, as irrigation in the province of Valencia depends on that supply of water. This initiative is unique in Spanish history because rather than the State, it was the farmers who assumed the total cost of the project, having organized under the Unidad Sindical de Usuarios del Júcar (USUJ, Júcar Users' Coalition), an alliance of irrigation communities [es].[3]

Beneath the waters of the Alarcón Reservoir rest the remains of the town of Gascas, which was flooded after the building of the dam. When the water level drops, one can see traces of the streets and walls, as well as a stone wall with an arch.

The reservoir is located within the municipal districts of the following towns (from east to west): Alarcón, Olmedilla de Alarcón, Tébar, Cañada Juncosa, Buenache de Alarcón, Honrubia, Torrubia del Castillo, Hontecillas, Valverde de Júcar, Castillo de Garcimuñoz, Villaverde y Pasaconsol, La Almarcha, Belmontejo, and Olivares de Júcar.


  1. ^ "Presa: Alarcón". Spanish Association of Dams and Reservoirs (in Spanish). Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  2. ^ Isidro Sánchez Sánchez , Juan Pablo Calero Delso (2014). Photography and Art: IV Meeting in Castilla-La Mancha. Castilla La Mancha: University of Castilla La Mancha. ISBN 8484278638. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  3. ^ Alós Alzira, Carlos (24 December 2012). "El pantano que pagó la Ribera" [The Reservoir That La Ribera Paid For]. Levante: El Mercantil Valenciano (Online newspaper) (in Spanish). Retrieved 15 January 2015.