Pecos, river, 926 mi (1,480 km) long, rising in N N.Mex. near the Truchas peaks and flowing SE across E N.Mex. and W Tex. to the Rio Grande; drains c.38,300 sq mi (99,200 sq km). In New Mexico, dams at Alamogordo, Avalon, and McMillan serve the Carlsbad reclamation project (est. 1906), which irrigates c.25,000 acres (10,120 hectares); in W Texas, Red Bluff Dam forms a reservoir on the Pecos. Long-standing interstate disputes about water use were settled in 1949, when a federal bill provided for a compact between New Mexico and Texas. In the heyday of ranching in W Texas, west of the Pecos was the term for the distinct and rugged region of the western tip of the state.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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