|Elephant Butte Dam|
|Location||Truth or Consequences, New Mexico|
|Dam and spillways|
|Type of dam||Gravity|
|Height||301 ft (92 m)|
|Length||1,674 ft (510 m)|
|Width (crest)||18 ft (5 m)|
|Width (base)||228 ft (69 m)|
|Dam volume||618,785 cu yd (473,095 m3)|
|Creates||Elephant Butte Lake|
|Total capacity||2,065,010 acre·ft (2.547152329×109 m3)|
|Catchment area||28,900 sq mi (75,000 km2)|
|Surface area||36,500 acres (14,800 ha)|
|Hydraulic head||140 ft (43 m) (rated)|
|Turbines||1 x Francis turbine|
|Installed capacity||27.95 MW|
|Annual generation||38,449,061 kWh|
Elephant Butte Dam
The spillway is in the lower left corner of the picture and the power plant is located at the base of the opposite side of the dam.
|Location||Sierra County, New Mexico|
|Nearest city||Truth or Consequences, New Mexico|
|Architect||Louis C. Hill|
|Governing body||U.S. Bureau of Reclamation|
|NRHP Reference #||79001556|
|Added to NRHP||April 9, 1979|
Elephant Butte Dam or Elephant Butte Dike is a concrete gravity dam on the Rio Grande river near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. The dam impounds Elephant Butte Reservoir, which is used for both recreation and agriculture. After construction, the amount of water continuing to flow downstream in the Rio Bravo lessened from a foot deep to only a stream.
The dam is part of the Rio Grande Project, a project to provide power and irrigation to south-central New Mexico and west Texas. The United States Congress authorized construction of the dam on February 25, 1905 and it began in 1911. It was completed in 1916 but allowed to begin filling in 1915.
Elephant Butte Dam is 301 feet (91.7 m) high, 1,674 feet (510.2 m) long including the spillway and is made from 618,785 cubic yards (473,095 m³) of concrete. The width at the top of the dam is 18 feet (5.5 m) and 228 feet (69.5 m) at the base.
The reservoir has the capacity to can hold 2,065,010 acre feet (2.54715×109 m3) of water from a drainage of 28,900 square miles (74,850 km²). It provides irrigation to 178,000 acres (720 km²) of land. The dam also contains a 27,945-kilowatt hydroelectric powerplant. The current turbine was installed in 1940 and generates 38,449,061 kWh per year (as of 2005). It is at an elevation of 4390 ft (1338 m).
At the time of its construction, the dam was the largest irrigation dam ever built with the exception of the Aswan Dam in Egypt. It was expected that the dam would become the property of the local settlers once a water tax had reimbursed the government for the cost of construction. During construction the government used a system of 3 cables, each having a capacity of 15 tons and a span of 1,400 feet (430 m).
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23.
- "Elephant Butte Powerplant". Rio Grande Project. Bureau of Reclamation. December 28, 2005. Archived from the original on September 26, 2006. Retrieved October 11, 2006.
- "Elephant Butte Dam". Dataweb. Bureau of Reclamation. August 22, 2006. Archived from the original on September 27, 2006. Retrieved October 11, 2006.
- "Elephant Butte Dike". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2006-05-12.
- "Great Elephant Butte Dam Approaching Completion". Popular Mechanics Magazine. January 1915. Retrieved 9 February 2009.