Lake Waco

An aerial view of Lake Waco

An aerial view of Lake Waco

Photo by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Public Domain

Lake Waco is an artificial lake on the northwestern edge of the Waco city limits in central McLennan County. Construction of the original Waco Dam began in 1928 and was completed in 1929 at a cost of $2,500,000. The project was owned and operated by the City of Waco. The completed dam was 4,700 feet long and sixty-five feet high and had a spillway elevation of 430 feet. The lake was fed by the North and South Bosque rivers and had a surface area of 2,742 acres. Originally the lake's normal storage capacity was 39,378 acre-feet, but by the mid-1940s the accumulation of sediments had reduced its capacity to 22,030 acre-feet. Through the cooperation of the Fort Worth division of the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Brazos River Authority, a new dam project was begun in June 1958 and was completed in June 1965. The new Waco Dam (at 31°35' N, 97°12' W) was an earthfill structure, 24,618 feet long and 140 feet high, with a concrete spillway 560 feet wide. The new lake covered 19,440 acres, completely submerging the old lake. Its normal storage capacity was 152,500 acre-feet, although at maximum flood stage the lake could hold as much as 834,300 acre-feet. The drainage area above the dam was 1,670 square miles. The lake was used for recreation, municipal purposes, and for flood control and conservation.

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Lake Measurements

Surface Area (in acres)
Storage Capacity (in acre-feet)

Belongs to

Lake Waco is part of or belongs to the following places.

Lake Maintained or Owned by

City of Waco, USAE, Brazos River Authority

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Date of Origin

1929 94 years ago

Currently Exists


Place type

Lake Waco is classified as a Lake


  • Conservation
  • Flood Control
  • Recreation
  • Municipal water supply

Associated Names

  • [Waco Lake]

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