The Transcontinental Aqueduct. Leg 10: Martin Tank Lake to the highest pumping station in Arizona, a distance of 200 miles.

The Martin Tank Lake dam is 2,260 feet wide and 230 feet high. The Lake will contain about 30,000 Acre-ft when full, about twenty-one hours worth of storage.

The elevation at the Martin Tank lake will top out at 5,220 feet with maximum water level at 5,210 feet. Because there is no water storage en route water will be pumped at all times at The aqueduct will first descend to 3980 feet, as it crosses the Rio Grande in La Mesa, a distance of 50 miles. The elevation difference is (5,120 – 3980 – 50 X 2.2) feet = 1.030 feet. Releasing 16,900 cfs of water 1,030 feet will generate 1.285GW of energy continuously. From La Mesa it will climb to the highest pumping station in Arizona, located 10 miles west of the border, at 4,200 feet. The total lift of the water in stage 10 is (4,200 – 3980 + 160×2.2) feet = 572 ft. To lift 16,900 cubic feet per second 592 feet requires 892 MW of power, for a net electricity generation of 393 MW.

What’s in it for New Mexico and Arizona? Up to 16,900 cfs of soft water is being delivered to the thirsty south western states. This corresponds to 12 Million Acre-feet per year. The Colorado river contributes 15 MAF/year.

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Retired engineer, graduated from Chalmers Technical University a long time ago with a degree in Technical Physics. Career in Aerospace, Analytical Chemistry, computer chip manufacturing and finally adjunct faculty at Pennsylvania State University, taught just one course in Computer Engineering, the Capstone Course.

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