Its purpose is the water supply for the "Centroamérica Power Plant" hydroelectric plant located a few kilometers to the southwest, in the region of El Cacao. This is the main generator of energy for the national electricity grid, representing approximately 35%. The origin of the name Apanás, according to the linguist scholar Alfonso Valle Candia is derived from the voices "apano" "to wade" and "atl" - "water" that is, "Apan-atl" - "Vado". "Apanás" is translated as "water ford" or "water pipe".
The Lago de Apanás-Asturias Wetland is a protected area located 6 kilometers from the city of Jinotega and is bordered by highways, which allows it to easily reach its coasts in many places. In 2001, it was declared a RAMSAR (Wetland of International Importance) site by UNESCO, as it is a refuge for the conservation of flora and fauna, not only in Nicaragua but also in Mesoamerica.
The waters of Lake Apanás allow national and foreign visitors to enjoy the experience of sailing in adventure tourism doing sport fishing activities and rowing boats competitions, as well as bird watching as it is the habitat of a great variety of lacustrine flora and fauna.