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Heron Lake in Northern New Mexico, USA

36.6N 106.7W

January 9th, 2010 Category: Lakes

USA - December 14th, 2009

USA - December 14th, 2009

Heron Lake, visible in the lower left quadrant of this orthorectified image, is a reservoir in Rio Arriba County, in northern New Mexico in the southwestern United States. The southern shore is the location of Heron Lake State Park.

The lake is part of the San Juan-Chama Diversion Project, which transfers water from the upper reaches of the San Juan River through the 12.8-mile (20.6 km) Azotea Tunnel (and under the Continental Divide), into Willow Creek and the Rio Chama (and ultimately into the Rio Grande).

Water is impounded in Heron Lake by the 1,250-foot (381 m) long, 263-foot (80 m) high Heron Dam, which was completed in 1971. The 5,900-acre (24 km2) lake is approximately 4 miles (6 km) long and 3 miles (5 km) wide (7 x 5 km), and lies at an elevation of up to 7,186 feet (2,190 m).

The lake, dam, and state park are named after Kenneth A. Heron, an engineer in the early 1900s who realized that water could be diverted from wetter areas to the north, to the benefit of more arid regions to the south.

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