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Pecos River

Pecos River

Overview
The headwaters of the Pecos River are located north of Pecos, New Mexico
Pecos, New Mexico
Pecos is a village in San Miguel County, New Mexico, United States. The population was 1,441 at the 2000 census, growing much faster than in other parts of San Miguel County, partly because Pecos is within commuting distance of Santa Fe. The village is built along the Pecos River which flows from...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, at an elevation of over 12,000 feet on the western slope of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range
Sangre de Cristo Mountains
The Sangre de Cristo Mountains are the southernmost subrange of the Rocky Mountains. They are located in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico in the United States...

 in Mora County. The river flows for 926 miles (1,490 km) through the eastern portion of that state and neighboring Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 before it empties into the Rio Grande
Rio Grande
The Rio Grande is a river that flows from southwestern Colorado in the United States to the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way it forms part of the Mexico – United States border. Its length varies as its course changes...

 near Del Rio
Del Rio, Texas
Del Rio is a border city in and the county seat of Val Verde County, Texas, United States.. Del Rio is connected with Ciudad Acuña via the Lake Amistad Dam International Crossing and Del Río-Ciudad Acuña International Bridge...

. The river's drainage basin
Drainage basin
A drainage basin is an extent or an area of land where surface water from rain and melting snow or ice converges to a single point, usually the exit of the basin, where the waters join another waterbody, such as a river, lake, reservoir, estuary, wetland, sea, or ocean...

 is approximately 44300 square miles (114,736.5 km²) in size.

There are multiple dams along the Pecos River.
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Encyclopedia
The headwaters of the Pecos River are located north of Pecos, New Mexico
Pecos, New Mexico
Pecos is a village in San Miguel County, New Mexico, United States. The population was 1,441 at the 2000 census, growing much faster than in other parts of San Miguel County, partly because Pecos is within commuting distance of Santa Fe. The village is built along the Pecos River which flows from...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, at an elevation of over 12,000 feet on the western slope of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range
Sangre de Cristo Mountains
The Sangre de Cristo Mountains are the southernmost subrange of the Rocky Mountains. They are located in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico in the United States...

 in Mora County. The river flows for 926 miles (1,490 km) through the eastern portion of that state and neighboring Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 before it empties into the Rio Grande
Rio Grande
The Rio Grande is a river that flows from southwestern Colorado in the United States to the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way it forms part of the Mexico – United States border. Its length varies as its course changes...

 near Del Rio
Del Rio, Texas
Del Rio is a border city in and the county seat of Val Verde County, Texas, United States.. Del Rio is connected with Ciudad Acuña via the Lake Amistad Dam International Crossing and Del Río-Ciudad Acuña International Bridge...

. The river's drainage basin
Drainage basin
A drainage basin is an extent or an area of land where surface water from rain and melting snow or ice converges to a single point, usually the exit of the basin, where the waters join another waterbody, such as a river, lake, reservoir, estuary, wetland, sea, or ocean...

 is approximately 44300 square miles (114,736.5 km²) in size.

Modifications


There are multiple dams along the Pecos River. Santa Rosa Lake is 117 miles/188 kM east of Albuquerque. Sumner Lake is located between Santa Rosa and Fort Sumner, NM. Two dams are located north of Carlsbad, New Mexico
Carlsbad, New Mexico
Carlsbad is a city in and the county seat of Eddy County, New Mexico, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 26,138. Carlsbad is the center of the designated micropolitan area of Carlsbad-Artesia, which has a total population of 55,435...

, at Avalon Reservoir and Brantley Dam, to help irrigate about 25000 acres (10,117.2 ha) as part of the Carlsbad reclamation project (established in 1906). Texas has also dammed the river at the Red Bluff Dam
Red Bluff Dam
Red Bluff Dam is a dam in the Pecos River, situated about 40 miles north of Pecos, Texas....

 in the western part of that state to form the Red Bluff Reservoir
Red Bluff Reservoir
Red Bluff Reservoir is a reservoir on the Pecos River 40 miles north of Pecos, Texas, USA. The reservoir extends into Loving and Reeves counties in Texas, and Eddy County in New Mexico. The northern shoreline of the reservoir is the lowest point in the state of New Mexico...

. The portion of the reservoir that extends into New Mexico forms the lowest point in that state.

History


The river was named "Pecos" by the Spanish from the Keresan
Keresan languages
Keresan , also Keres , is a group of seven related languages spoken by Keres Pueblo peoples in New Mexico, U.S.A.. Each is mutually intelligible with its closest neighbors...

 name of the Pecos Pueblo, [p'æyok'ona].

The river played a large role in the exploration of Texas by the Spanish
Spanish people
The Spanish are citizens of the Kingdom of Spain. Within Spain, there are also a number of vigorous nationalisms and regionalisms, reflecting the country's complex history....

. In the latter half of the 19th century, "West of the Pecos" was a reference to the rugged frontiers of the Wild West.

New Mexico and Texas disputed water rights to the river until the federal government settled the dispute in 1949 with the Pecos River Compact. The Pecos River Settlement Agreement was signed between New Mexico and Texas in 2003.

Wild and Scenic River


On June 6, 1990, 20.5 miles (33 km) of the Pecos River—from its headwaters to the townsite of Tererro—received National Wild and Scenic River
National Wild and Scenic River
National Wild and Scenic River is a designation for certain protected areas in the United States.The National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act was an outgrowth of the recommendations of a Presidential commission, the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission...

 designation. It includes 13.5 miles (22 km) designated "wild" and 7 miles (11 km) designated "recreational."

Pecos River Flume


The Flume is a modern aqueduct carrying irrigation water over the Pecos River.
Construction took place from 1889 to 1890 and was part of the Pecos River Reclamation Project. It was originally constructed of wood and spanned 145 feet (44.2 m). It carried water at a depth of 8 feet (2.4 m). In 1902, a flood destroyed the Flume and it was subsequently rebuilt using concrete. In 1902, it was the largest concrete structure in the world.

The Flume and its surrounding area have been reclaimed by the city of Carlsbad
Carlsbad, New Mexico
Carlsbad is a city in and the county seat of Eddy County, New Mexico, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 26,138. Carlsbad is the center of the designated micropolitan area of Carlsbad-Artesia, which has a total population of 55,435...

 and has been transformed into a tourist attraction with park improvements along the river and spot lights to give a spectacular nightly view.

See also

  • List of longest rivers of the United States (by main stem)
  • List of tributaries of the Rio Grande
  • List of rivers of New Mexico
  • List of rivers of Texas
  • USS Pecos (AO-6)
    USS Pecos (AO-6)
    thumb|right|300px|USS Pecos in portUSS Pecos was laid down as Fuel Ship No. 18 on June 2, 1920 by the Navy Yard, Boston, Mass.; reclassified AO–6 on July 17, 1920; launched April 23, 1921; sponsored by Miss Anna S. Hubbard; and commissioned August 25, 1921...

     — a fleet oiler built in 1921.
  • USS Pecos (AO-65)
    USS Pecos (AO-65)
    USS Pecos was laid down 20 April 1942 by the Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co. as a type T3-SE-A1 tanker, Chester, Penn., as Corsicana ; launched 17 August acquired by the Navy 29 August 1942; sponsored by Mrs. B. P.M Abrams; and commissioned 5 October 1942, Comdr. Palmer M...

     — a fleet oiler built in 1942.
  • USNS Pecos (T-AO-197)
    USNS Pecos (T-AO-197)
    |...

     — an underway replenishment oiler
    Underway replenishment oiler
    The underway replenishment oiler is a type of ship of the United States Navy. These oilers provide underway replenishment of fuel to U.S. Navy ships at sea and jet fuel for aircraft assigned to aircraft carriers...

    built in 1990.