Lake from Parker Dam
|Primary inflows||Colorado River|
|Primary outflows||Colorado River|
|Basin countries||United States|
|Surface area||19,300 acres (7,800 ha)|
|Average depth||35 ft (11 m)|
|Max. depth||90 ft (27 m)|
|Settlements||Lake Havasu City, Arizona|
Lake Havasu is a large reservoir behind Parker Dam on the Colorado River, on the border between California and Arizona. Lake Havasu City sits on the lake's eastern shore. The reservoir has an available capacity of 619,400 acre feet (764,000,000 m3). The concrete arch dam was built by the United States Bureau of Reclamation between 1934 and 1938. The lake's primary purpose is to store water for pumping into two aqueducts. Prior to the dam construction, the area was home to the Mohave Indians. The lake was named (in 1939) after the Mojave word for blue. In the early 19th century, it was frequented by beaver trappers. Spaniards also began to mine the area along the river.
Mark Wilmer Pumping Plant pumps water into the Central Arizona Project Aqueduct. Whitsett Pumping Plant is located on the lake, and lifts the water 291 feet (89 m) for the Colorado River Aqueduct. Gene Pumping Plant is just south of Parker Dam, and gives the water an additional boost of 303 feet (92 m). The Colorado River Aqueduct has three more pumping plants, Iron Mountain, 144 feet (44 m), Eagle Mountain, 438 feet (134 m) and Julian Hinds, 441 feet (134 m). The total lift is 1,617 feet (493 m).
The Havasu National Wildlife Refuge is located at the upper end and upriver. Lake Havasu State Park is along the eastern shore in Arizona. The Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge extends southeastward up the riparian zone of the Bill Williams River canyon from the southeastern end of the reservoir and dam.
White sturgeon were stocked in Lake Havasu in 1967 and 1968 from stock obtained from San Pablo Bay, California. While some dead sturgeon were found downstream from Havasu (probably killed during passage over dams), living fish have not been recorded, but may still exist along the southern end of Lake Havasu near Parker Dam. Sturgeon have been known to grow upwards of 20 feet (6 meters) and can live in excess of 100 years and many in and around Lake Havasu continue in their efforts to catch a glimpse of the majestic animal.
Robert Paxton McCulloch was an American entrepreneur most notable for purchasing the old London Bridge and moving it to one of the cities he founded in Arizona. Lake Havasu sparked the imagination of McCulloch, who purchased 3,500 acres (1,400 ha) of lakeside property along Pittsburgh Point, the peninsula that eventually would be transformed into "the island".
- Havasu Springs, Lake Havasu
- List of dams and reservoirs in California
- List of lakes in California
- List of largest reservoirs of California
- Site Six, Lake Havasu
- Windsor Beach, Lake Havasu
London Bridge at Lake Havasu.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lake Havasu.|
- United States Bureau of Reclamation
- PDF (212 KiB)
- Arizona Boating Locations Facilities Map
- USGS - Real-time water data for Lake Havasu near Parker Dam
- Daily data of level and flow from US Department of the Interior | Bureau of Reclamation | Lower Colorado Region
- Lake Havasu Colorado River Interactive Map