Whether you are a visitor to Las Vegas or a born and raised resident, a trip to Hoover Dam is a definite must. Just a day trip away, this monolithic effort stands proudly just outside Las Vegas. The largest dam in the world at the time of its completion, the National Historic Landmark is one of America’s Modern Civil Engineering Wonders.
Beginning construction in 1930, it would be five years until the Hoover Dam would be complete. According to the History network, 21,000 men worked to build one of the largest man-made structures at the time. The Dam not only provided jobs during the depression but also birthed the creation of Boulder City. The history network states that Boulder City, Nevada, was constructed to house dam workers. Over 5,000 project workers, many hopeful job seekers and their families, and later dignitaries would seek solace in the town. The Hoover Dam would provide essential flood control, would allow the expansion of irrigated farming and would serve as a dependable water supply.
With one visit to the Hoover Dam, one truth is easily recognizable. The Hoover Dam holds a lot of water. According to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, holding almost 29 million acre feet of water the Dam could supply 29 million households with water for one year. To put it in better perspective, that is about the total population of California.
As one of the first reclamation projects along the Colorado River, the Hoover Dam stores water for many uses. Among those would the generation of electricity. the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation informs that energy from water is created by force. Through the force of water flowing from a high elevation to a lower elevation, the water spins a turbine. A water turbine is a finned wheel and as it rotates, it turns the generator. The process is an example of how the generator and turbine change mechanical energy into electrical energy. The power authority reports that the Hoover Dam produces an average of 4.5 billion kilowatt hours in a year using this process.
Overall, the Hoover Dam stands proud as a symbol of a country’s ability to push forward during adverse times. As a historic landmark and a civil engineering wonder, the Hoover Dam is a treasure worth witnessing for all those nearby in Las Vegas.