Zimapán Dam

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Zimapán Dam
Fernando Hiriart Balderrama Dam, Zimapán, Hidalgo, México. (1).jpg
Reservoir of the Zimapán Dam
Zimapán Dam is located in Mexico
Zimapán Dam
Location of Zimapán Dam in Mexico
Official namePresa Zimapán
Coordinates20°39′48″N 99°30′03″W / 20.66333°N 99.50083°W / 20.66333; -99.50083Coordinates: 20°39′48″N 99°30′03″W / 20.66333°N 99.50083°W / 20.66333; -99.50083
Construction began1990
Opening date1993
Owner(s)Federal Electricity Commission
Dam and spillways
ImpoundsMoctezuma River
Height203 m (666 ft)
Length122 m (400 ft)
Width (crest)5 m (16 ft)
Width (base)22 m (72 ft)
Inactive capacity1,390,000,000 m3 (1,126,891 acre⋅ft)
Surface area22.9 km2 (9 sq mi)
Zimapán Power Station
Coordinates20°50′51″N 99°27′31″W / 20.84750°N 99.45861°W / 20.84750; -99.45861
Commission date1995
Turbines2 x 146 MW Pelton turbines
Installed capacity292 MW
Annual generation1,064 GWh

The Zimapán Dam, also known as Fernando Hiriart Balderrama Dam, is an arch dam on the Moctezuma River about 15 km (9 mi) southwest of Zimapán in Hidalgo state, Mexico. The primary purpose of the dam is hydroelectric power production and it services a 292 MW power station with water.


The dam was funded in part by a $460 million World Bank loan which was approved on 8 June 1989 and covered the Mexico Hydroelectric Development Project which included the Aguamilpa Dam as well. Mexico raised $250 in foreign capital as well.[1] Construction on the dam began in 1990 and was complete in 1993. Beginning in 1994, the reservoir filled and the power station was operational by 1995.[2][3] Approximately 3,000 people were displaced and resettled by the construction of both dams in the Mexico Hydroelectric Development Project.[4]


The dam is a 203 m (666 ft) tall and 122 m (400 ft) long arch-type located in a narrow portion of the Moctezuma Canyon. The crest of the dam is 5 m (16 ft) wide while the base has a width of 22 m (72 ft). The reservoir created by the dam has a capacity of 1,390,000,000 m3 (1,126,891 acre⋅ft) and surface area of 22.9 km2 (9 sq mi). The reservoir is formed by the Tula and San Juan Rivers which join in the reservoir to form the Moctezuma River later downstream of the dam. Water from the reservoir is diverted through a 21 km (13 mi) tunnel, bypassing 42 km (26 mi) of the river downstream, before reaching the power station. Water at the power station powers two Pelton turbine-generators before being discharged back into the Moctezuma River. When both turbines are operating, the power station discharges a maximum of 59 m3/s (2,084 cu ft/s). It operates as a peak power plant, operating 4 to 12 hours a day depending on energy demands.[2][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Implementation Completion Report Hydroelectric Development Project in Mexico". World Bank. 27 June 1997. Retrieved 21 June 2011. The US$460 million Bank loan financed four project components: the Aguamilpa and Zimapan hydroelectric plants
  2. ^ a b "Identification of the environmental impacts caused by the expansion of Zimapan power plant". Dams and Reservoirs, Societies and Environmental in the 21st Century. Federal Electricity Commission. Retrieved 20 June 2011. |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  3. ^ a b "Environmental Flows for a Regulated River under a New Hydro Scheme" (PDF). Federal Electricity Commission. Retrieved 20 June 2011.
  4. ^ Guggenheim, Scott. "Mexico Hydroelectric Project" (PDF). The World Bank Participation Sourcebook. p. 68. Retrieved 21 June 2011.