Upper Nueces Lake (Nueces River Basin)

Upper Nueces Dam and Lake (Photo provided by owner)Upper Nueces Lake (also known as the Upper Dam) is located six miles north of Crystal City in Zavala County, on the Nueces River.  The reservoir is owned and operated by the Zavala and Dimmit Counties Water Improvement District No. 1 for irrigational, recreational and water supply purposes.  The original dam, authorized by Permit No. 929 dated November 14, 1927 and built in 1926, was damaged by high water in October 1927 and was repaired.

Authorization (Permit No. 1419) for a larger reservoir was issued by the State Board of Water Engineers on September 15, 1947.  Construction for the present dam upstream the original dam started October 16, 1947 and was completed in March 1948.  Deliberate impoundment of water began at the same time.  The dam is an earthfill embankment of 550 feet long with a maximum height of 60 feet.  The reservoir has an original storage capacity of 7,590 acre-feet encompassing a surface area of 316 acres at the conservation pool elevation of 598 feet above mean sea level. Based on owner's information, the current storage capacity is estimated at 5,200 acre-feet at the same elevation. The drainage area above the dam is estimated to be 2,160 square miles.