LAKE WACO. Lake Waco is an artificial lake on the northwestern edge of the Waco city limits in central McLennan County. Construction of the original Waco Dam began in 1928 and was completed in 1929 at a cost of $2,500,000. The project was owned and operated by the City of Waco. The completed dam was 4,700 feet long and sixty-five feet high and had a spillway elevation of 430 feet. The lake was fed by the North and South Bosque rivers and had a surface area of 2,742 acres. Originally the lake's normal storage capacity was 39,378 acre-feet, but by the mid-1940s the accumulation of sediments had reduced its capacity to 22,030 acre-feet. Through the cooperation of the Fort Worth division of the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Brazos River Authority, a new dam project was begun in June 1958 and was completed in June 1965. The new Waco Dam (at 31°35' N, 97°12' W) was an earthfill structure, 24,618 feet long and 140 feet high, with a concrete spillway 560 feet wide. The new lake covered 19,440 acres, completely submerging the old lake. Its normal storage capacity was 152,500 acre-feet, although at maximum flood stage the lake could hold as much as 834,300 acre-feet. The drainage area above the dam was 1,670 square miles. The lake was used for recreation, municipal purposes, and for flood control and conservation.
C. L. Dowell, Dams and Reservoirs in Texas: History and Descriptive Information (Texas Water Commission Bulletin 6408 [Austin, 1964]). Dayton Kelley, ed., The Handbook of Waco and McLennan County, Texas (Waco: Texian, 1972).
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article."LAKE WACO," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/rol82), accessed December 01, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history everyday,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles