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Lake Colorado City

General Entry

Lake Colorado City is an artificial lake on Morgan Creek in the Colorado River basin four miles southwest of Colorado City in central Mitchell County (at 32°19' N, 100°55' W). The dam's official name is Lake Colorado City Dam, but it is popularly known as the Morgan Creek Dam. The reservoir, owned and operated by the Texas Electric Service Company, has a surface area of 1,655 acres, a normal capacity of 31,640 acre-feet, and a maximum capacity of 70,700 acre-feet. Its earthfill dam is eighty-one feet high and rises 2,090 feet above mean sea level. The lake drains 322 square miles, of which thirty-two square miles are probably noncontributing. The lake's water is used for industry and recreation and is a water supply for nearby Colorado City. The cut in the lake's bank serves as an emergency spillway at a crest of 2,073 feet above mean sea level and as a service spillway at an elevation of 2,070 feet above mean sea level. In 1948, the year construction on the project began, the state authorized a permit that allowed 5,500 acre-feet of water for annual diversion for municipal, domestic, industrial, and steam-electric power use. General contractor Harry Campbell completed the project in September 1949; impoundment of water had begun in April of that year. Outlet works include water for condenser cooling that is circulated from an intake well to power plants and back to the lake. Use of water for power plants and condenser-cooling purposes began in June 1950; by the 1960s six plants were generating a capacity of 833,000 kilowatts of power. When the lake's water level is low, water is pumped from Champion Creek Reservoir to maintain a satisfactory operating level.

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Anonymous, “Lake Colorado City,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed December 05, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.