Red Bluff Reservoir

Red Bluff Reservoir is on the Pecos River in Reeves and Loving counties, forty-five miles north of Pecos (at 31°54' N, 103°55' W). It extends into Eddy County, New Mexico, and takes its name from red bluffs along the river. T. A. Ezell became interested in constructing a dam at the site in 1905, but it did not materialize. Ten projects were diverting water from the Pecos by 1914, and the West Texas Reclamation Association was formed to study possibilities. In 1916 The Pecos Valley of Texas Water Users Association filed a petition with the United States Secretary of the Interior requesting aid for a reservoir. A new organization, the Red Bluff Water Improvement District, developed plans to include lands from Red Bluff to Grandfalls, Texas.

The water users' contract was approved in 1920, and surveying started in 1921. Agreement between Texas and New Mexico provided for construction in 1924. President Calvin Coolidge approved the plan in 1926. Seven water districts were combined into the Red Bluff Water Control District in 1927. The Public Works Administration approved the loan in October 1934, bonds were sold to the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, construction was then started, and the dam was completed by September 1936 at a cost of $2 million. Water use started in 1937.

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Delmar J. Hayter | © TSHA

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

Belongs to

Red Bluff Reservoir is part of or belongs to the following places:

Lake Measurements

  • Surface Area (in acres): 7,495
  • Storage Capacity (in acre-feet): 151,110

Lake Maintained or Owned by

Red Bluff Water Power Control District

Date of Origin

1937 (87 years ago)

Currently Exists


Place type

Red Bluff Reservoir is classified as a Lake


  • Power generation
  • Irrigation