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Nazas (nä´säs), river, c.180 mi (290 km) long, rising in the Sierra Madre Occidental, Durango state, N Mexico, and flowing generally east to disappear into the ground near Torreón. During the wet season it usually inundates a vast desert basin and sometimes reaches Laguna de Mayran. With its control dams, it provides water for irrigating the Laguna dist.