Don Pedro Reservoir

TID is proud to serve the local community by maintaining the Don Pedro Reservoir. The reservoir provides irrigation water storage for local growers, as well as power generation, flood control and recreation for other local citizens.

The First Don Pedro Reservoir

In 1923, Turlock and Modesto Irrigation Districts joined forces to build the first Don Pedro Dam, which had a storage capacity of 289,000 acre feet. The dam held barely enough water to accommodate growers' irrigation needs for a single growing season.

The New Don Pedro Reservoir

New Don Pedro Dam construction began in 1967 and was completed in 1971 at a cost of $105 million. The reservoir has a capacity of 2,030,000 acre feet, substantially increasing TID's water storage capacity on the Tuolumne River.

Dam statistics:
  • 580 Feet high
  • 855 Feet above sea level at the crest
  • 1900 Feet at crest length
  • 40 Feet wide at crest
  • 2800 Feet wide at its base

TID uses water stored in Don Pedro to irrigate approximately 5,800 farms within our 307 square-mile irrigation service area.


TID has been delivering power to retail customers since 1923. As an operating partner, TID operates the powerhouse at the reservoir, which can generate up to 203 megawatts of electric power from its four generators.

Flood Control

Don Pedro Lake also provides flood protection for the valley below. Don Pedro's immense capacity is able to absorb surges from Sierra storms to protect property, farmland and industry.


With 160 miles of shoreline and nearly 13,000 acres of surface area (at maximum lake level), visitors can enjoy boating, fishing, water sports, swimming and camping. One of the highlights of the year is the annual Fourth of July fireworks show.
For more information, call the Don Pedro Recreation Area at (209) 852-2396 or visit the Don Pedro Lake website.


The Reservoir is licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and jointly held by TID and the Modesto Irrigation District (MID). By virtue of their historic sharing agreement based on acreage served within each district, TID's share and interest in the dam amounts to 68.46 percent while the MID's share is 31.54 percent. The current license will expire in 2016. Learn more about the relicensing by visiting the Don Pedro Relicensing website.

The Reservoir is crucial to our water system and TID is taking every step to ensure the relicensing process will be successful. This is a long, arduous and expensive process that will focus, in large part, on instream flow releases and fisheries habitat below Don Pedro Reservoir.