|Location|| Keith County, Nebraska,|
|Basin countries||United States|
|Max. length||22 mi (35 km)|
|Max. width||4 mi (6.4 km)|
|Surface area||35,700 acres (144 km2)|
|Max. depth||142 ft (43 m)|
Lake McConaughy is a reservoir on the North Platte River. It is located 9 miles (14 km) north of Ogallala, Nebraska, United States, near U.S. Highway 26 and Nebraska Highway 61. The reservoir was named for Charles W. McConaughy, a grain merchant and mayor of Holdrege, Nebraska, one of the leading promoters of the project. Although he did not live to see the completion of the project, his leadership and perseverance eventually culminated in a public power and irrigation project that helped Nebraska become one of the nation's leading agricultural states.
The lake, formed by Kingsley Dam, is a man-made body of water that is 22 miles (35 km) long, 4 miles (6.4 km) wide at its largest point, and 142 feet (43 m) deep near the dam (at full capacity) – it was constructed between 1936 and 1941 and is fed by the North Platte River. When full, the reservoir has a capacity of 1,740,000 acre feet (2.15 km3), covers 35,700 acres (144 km2) and has 76 miles (122 km) of shoreline, making it the largest reservoir in Nebraska.
Lake McConaughy was constructed to store water for irrigation for The Tri-County, later renamed Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District (CNPPID) hydro-irrigation project. A hydro-electric plant was later added and went online in 1984. The total cost of the Project was $43 million, paid by a $19 million PWA grant and a $24 million federal loan (the federal debt was paid off when the loan was refinanced in 1972; the refinanced portion of the debt was paid off in 1995). The Depression-era construction project provided jobs to more than 1,500 people. CNPPID, a political subdivision of the State of Nebraska, owns and operates the dam and reservoir and an associated hydroplant below the dam.
The source of water for Lake McConaughy is primarily the North Platte River. Water flows into the lake from a 32,500-square-mile (84,000 km2) drainage area west of the dam. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation reservoirs on the North Platte River in Wyoming capture precipitation and snowmelt from the mountains and utilize the water for irrigation and hydroelectric production within the North Platte Projects. Return flows from these projects to the North Platte River make up a significant portion of the inflows to Lake McConaughy.
On the east side of Kingsley Dam is Lake Ogallala, commonly called the 'Little Lake'. Water flows out of Lake McConaughy through the Morning Glory tower, and out the other side of the dam through the hydroelectric plant into Lake Ogallala where the water continues flowing down the North Platte River. This smaller lake has rocky shores, but is well known for great camping and fishing.
Lake McConaughy is also a popular location for fishing, boating, water sports, camping and hunting.
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) operates a State Recreation Area at the lake. NGPC's offices are at the Lake McConaughy Visitors Center just south of the dam. The Visitor Center contains a water interpretive center, gift shop, theater, and information office.
The current superintendent of Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area is Leesa Ricci.
Kingsley Dam is located at the east end of Lake McConaughy and was the second largest hydraulically filled earthen dam in the world (behind Fort Peck Dam) on the time of its completion. The dam was named for George P. Kingsley, a Minden, Nebraska banker, who worked with C. W. McConaughy to promote the project. The dam was built by pumping sand and gravel from the river bed to form its sides, while pumping a mixture of loess soil and water into the center of the structure to form its watertight core. Seepage of water under the dam is prevented by a wall of interlocked sheet piling driven 30 to 160 ft (49 m) deep and tied into the impervious Brule clay formation that lies beneath the dam. The dam's face is protected by more than a million tons of rock in several layers and more than 180,000 "jackstones," (rebar-reinforced concrete tetrahedrons), each weighing 800 lb (360 kg). The dam is 162 feet (49 m) tall, 3.1 miles (5.0 km) long, and 1,100 feet (340 m) wide at its base.
The Kingsley Hydroplant, which went on-line in 1984, is situated below the south end of the dam.
The South Platte River is one of the two principal tributaries of the Platte River. Flowing through the U.S. states of Colorado and Nebraska, it is itself a major river of the American Midwest and the American Southwest/Mountain West. Its drainage basin includes much of the eastern flank of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado; much of the populated region known as the Colorado Front Range and Eastern Plains; and a portion of southeastern Wyoming in the vicinity of the city of Cheyenne. It joins the North Platte River in western Nebraska to form the Platte, which then flows across Nebraska to the Missouri. The river serves as the principal source of water for eastern Colorado. In its valley along the foothills in Colorado, it has permitted agriculture in an area of the Colorado Piedmont and Great Plains that is otherwise arid.
The North Platte River is a major tributary of the Platte River and is approximately 716 miles (1,152 km) long, counting its many curves. In a straight line, it travels about 550 miles (890 km), along its course through the U.S. states of Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska.
The Niobrara River is a tributary of the Missouri River, approximately 568 miles (914 km) long, running through the U.S. states of Wyoming and Nebraska. The river drains one of the most arid sections of the Great Plains, and has a low flow for a river of its length. The Niobrara's watershed includes the northern tier of Nebraska Sandhills, a small south-central section of South Dakota, as well as a small area of eastern Wyoming.
The Columbia Basin Project in Central Washington, United States, is the irrigation network that the Grand Coulee Dam makes possible. It is the largest water reclamation project in the United States, supplying irrigation water to over 670,000 acres (2,700 km2) of the 1,100,000 acres (4,500 km2) large project area, all of which was originally intended to be supplied and is still classified as irrigable and open for the possible enlargement of the system. Water pumped from the Columbia River is carried over 331 miles (533 km) of main canals, stored in a number of reservoirs, then fed into 1,339 miles (2,155 km) of lateral irrigation canals, and out into 3,500 miles (5,600 km) of drains and wasteways. The Grand Coulee Dam, powerplant, and various other parts of the CBP are operated by the Bureau of Reclamation. There are three irrigation districts in the project area, which operate additional local facilities.
New Melones Dam is an earth and rock filled embankment dam on the Stanislaus River, about 5 miles (8.0 km) west of Jamestown, California, United States, on the border of Calaveras County and Tuolumne County. The water impounded by the 625-foot (191 m)-tall dam forms New Melones Lake, California's fourth largest reservoir, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada east of the San Joaquin Valley. The dam serves mainly for irrigation water supply, and also provides hydropower generation, flood control, and recreation benefits.
Friant Dam is a concrete gravity dam on the San Joaquin River in central California in the United States, on the boundary of Fresno and Madera Counties. It was built between 1937 and 1942 as part of a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) water project to provide irrigation water to the southern San Joaquin Valley. The dam impounds Millerton Lake, a 4,900-acre (2,000 ha) reservoir about 15 miles (24 km) north of Fresno.
Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) is the largest electric utility in the state of Nebraska, serving all or parts of 91 counties. It was formed on January 1, 1970, when Consumers Public Power District, Platte Valley Public Power and Irrigation District (PVPPID) and Nebraska Public Power System merged to become Nebraska Public Power District. NPPD's predecessors were created through the efforts of the Nebraska legislature and financial agent Guy L. Myers as part of a system where all the investor-owned utilities operating in the state of Nebraska were condemned and their properties turned over to 'public power districts' being created at the time. NPPD is a public corporation and political subdivision of the state of Nebraska. The utility is governed by an 11-member Board of Directors, who are popularly elected from NPPD's chartered territory.
The Colorado-Big Thompson Project is a federal water diversion project in Colorado designed to collect West Slope mountain water from the headwaters of the Colorado River and divert it to Colorado's Front Range and plains. In Colorado, approximately 80% of the state's precipitation falls on the West Slope, in the Rocky Mountains, while around 80% of the state's growing population lives along the East Slope, between the cities of Fort Collins and Pueblo.
Lewis and Clark Lake is a 31,400 acre (130 km²) reservoir located on the border of the U.S. states of Nebraska and South Dakota on the Missouri River. The lake is approximately 25 miles (40 km) in length with over 90 miles (140 km) of shoreline and a maximum water depth of 45 feet (14 m). The lake is impounded by Gavins Point Dam and is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District.
Millerton Lake is an artificial lake near the town of Friant about 15 mi (24 km) north of downtown Fresno. The reservoir was created by the construction of 319 ft high Friant Dam on the San Joaquin River which, with the lake, serves as much of the county line between Fresno County to the south and Madera County to the north.
Isabella Dam is an embankment dam located in the Kern River Valley, about halfway down the Kern River course, between the towns of Kernville and Lake Isabella in Kern County, California.
Optima Lake was built to be a reservoir in Texas County, Oklahoma. The site is located just north of Hardesty and east of Guymon in the Oklahoma Panhandle.
Nebraska Highway 61 is a highway in western Nebraska. It is a north–south highway with a length of 234.82 miles (377.91 km). The southern terminus of Nebraska Highway 61 is at the Kansas border south of Benkelman, where the highway continues south as K-161. The northern terminus is at the South Dakota border north of Merriman, where the highway continues north as South Dakota Highway 73.
Lemoyne is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in northwestern Keith County, Nebraska, United States. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 82.
Kingsley Dam is located on the east side of Lake McConaughy in central Keith County, Nebraska, and is the second largest hydraulic fill dam in the world. It was built as part of the New Deal project. The dam is 162 feet (49 m) tall, 3.1 miles (5.0 km) long, and 1,100 feet (340 m) wide at its base. On the east side of the dam is Lake Ogallala and on the south side is the Kingsley Hydroelectricity Plant. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District are also located in this area. Kingsley Dam, the Kingsley Hydroelectricity Plant, the Morning Glory Spillway, and the Outlet Tower – a large structure near the dam used to release water from the lake – are main visual icons of Lake McConaughy.
Guernsey Dam is an earthfill dam on the North Platte River in Platte County in the U.S. State of Wyoming. The dam creates Guernsey Reservoir, the last of the 5 major reservoirs on the North Platte River in Wyoming. The dam contains a hydroelectric plant capable of 6.4 megawatts of electricity. The total capacity of the reservoir is 71,040 acre feet (87,630,000 m3) of water which is used mainly for irrigation. Morrison-Knudsen and Utah Construction Company constructed Guernsey Dam and the hydroelectric plant as part of the North Platte Project to provide irrigation to eastern Wyoming and western Nebraska. Guernsey helps control the river flow and stores water released from the project's primary storage upstream at Pathfinder Reservoir. About 8 miles (13 km) downstream of the dam the Whalen Diversion Dam diverts water into the Fort Laramie and Interstate Canals that service farms in Wyoming and Nebraska.
New Exchequer Dam is a concrete–faced, rock-fill dam on the Merced River in central California in the United States. It forms Lake McClure, which impounds the river for irrigation and hydroelectric power production and has a capacity of more than 1,000,000 acre feet (1.2 km3). The Merced Irrigation District (MID) operates the dam and was also responsible for its construction.
Martin is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Keith County, Nebraska, United States. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 92. Martin Bay is one of the most popular recreation areas on Lake McConaughy.
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