Pleasant Harbor History

The "Old" Dam

The "Carl" Pleasant Dam, later renamed Waddell Dam, was constructed between 1926 and 1928, creating the upper portion of Lake Pleasant. At the time, it was the largest Multiple Arch Dam in the world.

The dam stood 176 feet in height and 2,160 feet in length. At 126 feet above streambed, its elevation was 1,601 feet (above sea level). It created a Lake with 3,706 surface acres of water having a shoreline of 50+ miles.

The "New" Dam

The new dam was completed in March 1993. It raised the water level by 100 vertical feet and increased the overall lake volume from 157,000-acre feet to 860,000-acre feet. The resultant water surface area increased from 3,528 acres to 9,966 acres. The new high water mark was reached for the first time in April 1994. Seasonal water demands could still result in as much as a 100 vertical drawdown with restoration during the winter months.

The Lake receives water from the Agua Fria River and canal water from the Central Arizona Project (CAP) reaching elevation at high water mark 1,702 feet above sea level, normally in Mid-Spring. In June, the drawdown cycle begins with water released from the Lake through the CAP canal for irrigation of the West Valley Agricultural Areas during the summer months.