Wanapum Dam

Wanapum Dam is located on the Columbia River, six miles downstream of Vantage, Wash., 18 miles upstream of Priest Rapids Dam and 415 miles above the mouth of the river.

The dam was named Wanapum in honor of the band of Native Americans who live along a stretch of the Columbia River from Vantage south toward Pasco, Wash.

Wanapum Dam was financed by long-term revenue bonds that were retired through the sale of power. No tax money or government appropriations were used for construction of Priest Rapids or Wanapum dams.

Construction Start July 1959
Power Generation Began July 1963
General Construction Contract Cost $93,277,690
Length 8,637 feet
Maximum Height from Deepest Excavation Point 185 feet
Spillway Length 820 feet
Amount of Spillway Gates 12 (each gate is 50' X 68')
Amount of Turbines and Generators 10 (of each) which spin at 85.7 rotations per minute
Horsepower of Each Turbine


Rated Generating Capacity

1,185.2 megawatts