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Scientific Investigations Map 3219

Prepared in cooperation with the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority

Sedimentation Survey of Lago Loíza, Puerto Rico, July 2009

By L.R. Soler-López and N.A. Licha-Soler

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Lago Loíza is a reservoir formed at the confluence of Río Gurabo and Río Grande de Loíza in the municipality of Trujillo Alto in central Puerto Rico, about 10 kilometers (km) north of the town of Caguas, about 9 km northwest of Gurabo, and about 3 km south of Trujillo Alto (fig. 1). The Carraizo Dam is owned and operated by the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA), and was constructed in 1953 as a water-supply reservoir for the San Juan Metropolitan area. The dam is a concrete gravity structure that is located in a shallow valley and has a gently sloping left abutment and steep right abutment. Non-overflow sections flank the spillway section. Waterways include an intake structure for the pumping station and power plant, sluiceways, a trash sluice, and a spillway.

The reservoir was built to provide a storage capacity of 26.8 million cubic meters (Mm3) of water at the maximum pool elevation of 41.14 meters (m) above mean sea level (msl) for the Sergio Cuevas Filtration Plant that serves the San Juan metropolitan area. The reservoir has a drainage area of 538 square kilometers (km2) and receives an annual mean rainfall that ranges from 1,600 to 5,000 millimeters per year (mm/yr). The principal streams that drain into Lago Loíza are the Río Grande de Loíza, Río Gurabo, and Río Cañas. Two other rivers, the Río Bairoa and Río Cagüitas, discharge into the Río Grande de Loíza just before it enters the reservoir. The combined mean annual runoff of the Río Grande de Loíza and the Río Gurabo for the 1960–2009 period of record is 323 Mm3. Flow from these streams constitutes about 89 percent of the total mean annual inflow of 364 Mm3 to the reservoir (U.S. Geological Survey, 2009). Detailed information about Lago Loíza reservoir structures, historical sediment accumulation, and a dredge conducted in 1999 are available in Soler-López and Gómez-Gómez (2005).

During July 8–15, 2009, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Caribbean Water Science Center (CWSC), in cooperation with PRASA, conducted a bathymetric survey of Lago Loíza to update the reservoir storage capacity and estimate the reservoir sedimentation rate by comparing the 2009 data with the previous 2004 bathymetric survey data. The purpose of this report is to document the methods used to update and present the results of the reservoir storage capacity, sedimentation rates, and areas of substantial sediment accumulation since 2004.

First posted December 13, 2012

  • Map PDF (980 KB) (31 x 32 inches)

For additional information contact:
U.S. Geological Survey
Caribbean Water Science Center
GSA Center, 651 Federal Drive
Suite 400-15
Guaynabo, PR 00965-5703

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Soler-López, L.R., and Licha-Soler, N.A., 2012, Sedimentation survey of Lago Loíza, Puerto Rico, July 2009: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3219, 1 sheet, available at

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