El Zapotillo DAM

El Zapotillo DAM

This project consists of the design and construction of the storage dam some 100 kilometres from Guadalajara, on the River Verde, in Jalisco, Mexico, for supplying potable water to Los Altos de Jalisco and the City of León.

This is a gravity-type dam, constructed of roller-compacted concrete, with a 401-metre curved base and crest and a height of 133 metres over the foundations. The dam body is cemented some 28 metres under the actual river course.

The river diversion is made on the right bank by means of a 120 square metre section that is 343 metres long.

The reservoir covers 4,200 hectares and has a storage capacity of 910 cubic hectometres.

The water travels 425 metres from the reservoir through a 5.4-metre diameter tunnel to PB1 pumping station, which then sends it 2.7 kilometres, raising the flow by 260 metres to PB2, which raises the water by 226 metres over 2.52 kilometres to the purification plant, where the water is treated.

The reservoir produces 8.6 m3/s, of which 1.8 m3 are for Los Altos de Jalisco, 3.8 m3 for León and 3 m3 for Guadalajara.

When purified, the water is taken 140 kilometres through a 2.4-metre diameter water pipeline to the delivery point in León, a regulation tank holding 100,000 cubic metres, from which the water is then carried another 45 kilometres and distributed to ten tanks that supply the distribution network, which then takes it to the townsfolk.

This dam project is fully sustainable and reduces aquifer usage to a minimum, thus allowing them to recharge. It also makes it possible to combine surface water from the river with deep water from the aquifer.

The Zapotillo dam and reservoir will benefit 2.3 million inhabitants of León, Guadalajara and thirteen municipalities of Los Altos de Jalisco.

Remarkable aspects

  • The dam has a curved plan that is 401 metres long and 133 metres high.
  • The reservoir capacity is 910 cubic hectometres.

Client: National Water Commission in Mexico

Start date: 2010

End date: Under construction