Avalon Dam


In addition to forming a small storage and regulating reservoir, Avalon Dam serves as the diversion dam for the project by diverting water into the Main Canal.  The dam is located on the Pecos River 5 miles north of Carlsbad, New Mexico.  The dam is a zoned earthfill structure that was constructed by private interests in 1888.  The dam washed out in 1893 and, after reconstruction, was washed out again in 1904 by the Pecos River flood.  The Reclamation Service rebuilt the dam in 1907. The height of the dam was increased in 1912, and again in 1936. The dam now has a structural height of 60 feet and a volume of 202,000 cubic yards.

The dam now has a structural height of 60 feet and a volume of 202,000 cubic yards. This is an earthfilled structure 1,360 feet long and 53 feet high. There are three spillways and an outlet works.

The original reservoir storage capacity was 7,000 acre-feet; a 1996 resurvey showed a capacity of  4,466 acre-feet at the top of conservation pool.

RegionFacilities in Upper Colorado | Upper Colorado Home Page
StateNew Mexico
Dam Type
WatercoursePecos River
Original Construction1907 - height increased in 1912 and again in 1936
Modified Construction
National ID NumberNM00132
Hydrologic Unit Code

Structural Height60.0 ft
Hydraulic Height (Normal Operating Depth at Dam)33.4 ft
Top Parapet (Elevation)
Spillway Crest Elevation
Crest Elevation3194.0 ft
Crest Length1025.0 ft
Crest Width
Base Width
Volume of Dam Construction Materials 202,000 cu. yards
Streambed at Dam Axis3152.0 ft
Top of Exclusive Flood Control Pool (Elevation)
Top of Joint Use Pool (Elevation)
Top of Active Conservation Pool (Elevation)3177.4 ft
Top of Inactive Conservation Pool (Elevation)
Top of Dead Storage Pool (Elevation)3157.0 ft

Hydraulics & Hydrology
Total Water Storage at Elevation
Maximum Water Surface Elevation3185.4 ft
Normal Water Surface Elevation
Spillway Type
Auxiliary SpillwayNo
Spillway Capacity at Elevation34,000 cfs at 3192.0 ft
Auxiliary Spillway Capacity at Elevation
Uncontrolled Spillway Capacity at Elevation
Outlet Works Capacity at Elevation23600 cfs at 3190.0 ft
Diversion Capacity at Elevation
Drainage Area22,000 sq mi
Hydrometeorological Report (HMR)HMR 51 & 52
Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) Report

Contact Information
TitleArea Office Manager
OrganizationAlbuquerque Area Office
Address555 Broadway NE, Suite 100
CityAlbuquerque, NM 87102-2352
Phone (Office)505 462-3542
OrganizationCarlsbad Irrigation District
Address201 South Canal St
CityCarlsbad, NM 88220
Phone (Office)505 885-3203

Last updated: Feb 20, 2009