New Don Pedro Dam

New Don Pedro Dam
New Don Pedro Dam

USGS image of New Don Pedro Dam
Location La Grange, California
Construction began September 1967
Opening date 1971
Dam and spillways
Type of dam Earthen embankment
Height 585 feet (178 m)
Length 1,900 feet (580 m)
Base width 2,800 feet (853 m)
Volume 16,750,000 cubic yards (12,810,000 m3)
Impounds Tuolumne River
Type of spillway Gated overflow
Creates Don Pedro Reservoir
Capacity 2,030,000 acre feet (2.50 km3)
Catchment area 1,542 square miles (3,990 km2)
Surface area 12,960 acres (5,240 ha)
Power station
Turbines 4 Francis type
Installed capacity 203 MW
Location of Don Pedro Dam in California

New Don Pedro Dam is built across the Tuolumne River and creates Lake Don Pedro in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the U.S. state of California. The New Don Pedro Dam takes its name from Don Pedros Bar which was named after Pierre "Don Pedro" Sainsevain.[1] Since its construction, the original Don Pedro Dam has been flooded underneath its reservoir, Lake Don Pedro.

The dam is an earth and rock fill type at 37°42′03″N 120°25′15″W / 37.7008°N 120.4208°W / 37.7008; -120.4208 that is 585 feet (178 m) high, 2,800 feet (850 m) thick at the base, and 1,900 feet (580 m) long. The dam contains 16,750,000 cubic yards (12,800,000 m³) of material, much of which came from gold dredge tailings in the Tuolumne River bed downstream near La Grange. Construction was started in September of 1967, the dam was topped out on May 28, 1970, and the dam was dedicated on May 22, 1971. While the Turlock Irrigation District (TID) operates the powerhouse at the dam's base, the Modesto Irrigation District (MID) owns 31.54% of the plant and so is entitled to about 63 megawatts of the 203 MW produced by the four generators.

Behind Don Pedro Dam is Lake Don Pedro, also called Don Pedro Reservoir, which holds up to 2,030,000 acre feet (2.50 km3) of water, making it the 6th largest body of water in California. Water leaving the dam's powerhouse flows about 2.5 miles (4 km) downstream to the La Grange Dam where about 885,000 acre feet (1.092×109 m3) of water is released into two canals. About 575,000 acre feet (709,000,000 m3) goes through TID's canal to Turlock Lake and another 310,000 acre feet (380,000,000 m3) goes through MID's canal to Modesto Reservoir. Nearly all of this water irrigates crops in the Turlock and Modesto Irrigation Districts. Another 230,000 acre feet (280,000,000 m3) goes to San Francisco's Hetch Hetchy Water and Power. And, finally, about 780,000 acre feet (960,000,000 m3) of water is delivered to the Tuolumne River channel to maintain flows in the 52 miles (84 km) of the Lower Tuolumne River through its confluence with the San Joaquin River and then into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.


  1. ^ Who was Don Pedro? Don Pedro Recreation Agency


External links

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