Mancotal Dam

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Mancotal Dam
Mancotal Dam is located in Nicaragua
Mancotal Dam
Location of Mancotal Dam in Nicaragua
Official namePresa Mancotal
LocationAsturias, Jinotega Department
Coordinates13°14′41.95″N 85°54′6.77″W / 13.2449861°N 85.9018806°W / 13.2449861; -85.9018806Coordinates: 13°14′41.95″N 85°54′6.77″W / 13.2449861°N 85.9018806°W / 13.2449861; -85.9018806
Opening date1964; 55 years ago (1964)
Owner(s)Empresa Nicaragüense de Electricidad (ENEL)
Dam and spillways
Type of damEmbankment
ImpoundsTuma River
Height50 m (160 ft)
CreatesLake Apanás
Total capacity435,000,000 m3 (353,000 acre⋅ft)
Surface area60 km2 (23 sq mi)
Centro América Plant
Coordinates13°6′24.58″N 86°3′5.67″W / 13.1068278°N 86.0515750°W / 13.1068278; -86.0515750
Commission date1964-1965
Turbines2 x 25 MW Francis-type
Installed capacity50 MW

The Mancotal Dam is an embankment dam on the Tuma River near Asturias in Jinotega Department, Nicaragua. It forms Lake Apanás, the largest reservoir in the country. The primary purpose of the dam is hydroelectric power generation and it supports the 50 MW Centro América Plant. The dam was completed and its first generator commissioned in 1964. The second generator was commissioned a year later on 18 March 1965. To generate power, water from the southwestern end of the Lake Apanás flows along a 4,000 m (13,000 ft) long channel before it enters a series of headrace pipes and a penstock. About 3.4 km (2.1 mi) to the south west the penstock meets Centro América Plant where it turns two 25 MW Francis turbines. After generating power the water is then discharged into the Viejo River.[1] To supplement levels in the Lake Apanás, the El Dorado Dam was completed in 1985 and forms Lake Asturias just downstream of the Mancotal Dam. Water from Lake Asturias can be pumped into Lake Apanás. In 1998 heavy rains from Hurricane Mitch severely damaged the Mancotal and El Dorado Dams, over-topping their spillways and nearly destroying the dams. The Virgen Dam downstream on the Viejo River was destroyed but later rebuilt.[2][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Hydro" (in Spanish). Empresa Nicaragüense de Electricidad (ENEL). Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  2. ^ Wood, Randall (5 October 2010). Moon Nicaragua. Avalon Travel. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  3. ^ "Aquastat - Dams in Nicaragua". UNFAO. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
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