Davis Dam spans the Colorado River in Pyramid Canyon 67 miles downstream from Hoover Dam and 88 miles upstream from Parker Dam. The Mexican Treaty of 1944 required the United States to construct Davis Dam for regulation of water to be delivered to Mexico. The reservoir formed by the dam, Lake Mohave, is used for that purpose through integrated operations of Hoover and Davis Powerplants.
Davis Dam, rising 200 feet above the lowest point of the foundation and about 140 feet above the level of the river, is a zoned earthfill structure with concrete spillway, intake structure, and powerplant. It has a crest length of 1,600 feet, and a top width of 50 feet. Its reservoir, Lake Mohave, has a total storage capacity of 1,818,300 acre-feet, and at maximum capacity extends 67 miles upstream to the tailrace of the Hoover Powerplant.
Almost 5 million cubic yards of rock and earth were excavated to form the diversion and forebay channel and foundations for the dam, spillway and intake structures, and powerplant. More than 3,642,000 cubic yards of earth and rockfill were required to form the dam, and about 600,000 cubic yards of concrete and 23 million pounds of reinforcing steel were placed in the spillway, powerplant, and other structures.
The semi-outdoor type Davis Powerplant is on the Arizona side of the river immediately downstream from the dam embankment. Water is delivered from the forebay to the powerplant through five 22-foot-diameter penstocks. The plant’s nameplate capacity is 240 megawatts.