Davis Dam


Davis Dam spans the Colorado River in Pyramid Canyon 67 miles downstream from Hoover Dam and 88 miles upstream from Parker Dam. The Mexican Treaty of 1944 required the United States to construct Davis Dam for regulation of water to be delivered to Mexico. The reservoir formed by the dam, Lake Mohave, is used for that purpose through integrated operations of Hoover and Davis Powerplants.

Davis Dam, rising 200 feet above the lowest point of the foundation and about 140 feet above the level of the river, is a zoned earthfill structure with concrete spillway, intake structure, and powerplant. It has a crest length of 1,600 feet, and a top width of 50 feet. Its reservoir, Lake Mohave, has a total storage capacity of 1,818,300 acre-feet, and at maximum capacity extends 67 miles upstream to the tailrace of the Hoover Powerplant.

Almost 5 million cubic yards of rock and earth were excavated to form the diversion and forebay channel and foundations for the dam, spillway and intake structures, and powerplant. More than 3,642,000 cubic yards of earth and rockfill were required to form the dam, and about 600,000 cubic yards of concrete and 23 million pounds of reinforcing steel were placed in the spillway, powerplant, and other structures.

The semi-outdoor type Davis Powerplant is on the Arizona side of the river immediately downstream from the dam embankment. Water is delivered from the forebay to the powerplant through five 22-foot-diameter penstocks. The plant's nameplate capacity is 240 megawatts.

RegionFacilities in Lower Colorado | Lower Colorado Home Page
StateArizona and Nevada
CountyMohave (AZ), Clark (NV)
Dam Type Zoned earthfill
ReservoirLake Mohave
WatercourseColorado River
Location2 mi north of Bullhead City, AZ and Laughlin, NV
Net Generation968,615,600 kWh
Original Construction1942-1950
Modified Construction
National ID NumberAZ10309
Hydrologic Unit Code

Structural Height200 ft
Hydraulic Height (Normal Operating Depth at Dam)140 ft
Top Parapet (Elevation)
Spillway Crest Elevation647 ft
Crest Elevation655 ft
Crest Length1,600 ft
Crest Width50 ft
Base Width1,400 ft
Volume of Dam Construction Materials3.64 million cubic yards
Streambed at Dam Axis455.0 ft
Top of Exclusive Flood Control Pool (Elevation)
Top of Joint Use Pool (Elevation)
Top of Active Conservation Pool (Elevation)647.0 ft
Top of Inactive Conservation Pool (Elevation)570.0 ft
Top of Dead Storage Pool (Elevation)533.0 ft

Hydraulics & Hydrology
Total Water Storage at Elevation 1.8 million acre-feet
Maximum Water Surface Elevation647 ft
Normal Water Surface Elevation
Spillway Type Concrete ogee weir
Spillway Capacity at Elevation214,000 cfs at 647.0 ft
Auxiliary Spillway
Auxiliary Spillway Capacity at Elevation
Uncontrolled Spillway Capacity at Elevation
Outlet Works Capacity at Elevation43,400 cfs at 610.0 ft
Diversion Capacity at Elevation
Drainage Area923 sq mi
Hydrometeorological Report (HMR)HMR 49
Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) Report

Contact Information
OrganizationLower Colorado Dams Office
AddressPO Box 60400
CityBoulder City, NV 89006-0400
Phone702 494-2302
Fax702 494-2297
OrganizationLower Colorado Dams Office
AddressPO Box 60400
CityBoulder City, NV 89006-0400
Phone702 494-2302
Fax702 494-2297

Last updated: Jun 29, 2009