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Elephant Butte Dam

Photo of Elephant Butte Dam and Reservoir
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Rio Grande Project
Elephant Butte Powerplant
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Elephant Butte Dam and Reservoir (originally called Engle Dam) is on the Rio Grande, 125 miles north of El Paso, Texas, can store 2,210,298 acre-feet of water to provide irrigation and year-round power generation. This is a concrete gravity dam 301 feet high and 1,674 feet long including the spillway. It contains 618,785 cubic yards of concrete. The dam was completed in 1916, but storage operation began in 1915.

The power system consists of a 24,300-kilowatt hydroelectric powerplant at Elephant Butte Dam. A system consisting of 490 miles of 115-kilovolt transmission line and 11 substations totaling 81,750 kilovolt-amperes, which was developed and operated by the Rio Grande Project until 1977, has been sold to a private electric company.


Foundation: Hard, sound, fissured sandstone in irregular beds, containing pockets and interbedded strata of friable shale and numerous small springs throughout foundation area

Last updated: Feb 20, 2009