The Hoover Dam has been written about hundreds of thousands of times. But it is not until you see it from the sky, that you get a true representation of just how man can change (with relative ease) the face of the earth for its own good. The dam is located on the Colorado River, the same river that gives us the Grand Canyon, in Black Canyon and it neatly sits between two states – Arizona and Nevada.
Construction started in the midst of the Great Depression in 1930 and was completed in 1935. At this time, the Hoover Dam was the largest electric-power generating site and largest concrete structure in the world -although one could argue there is concrete in the Great Wall of China. Nevertheless, the Hoover Dam has since been surpassed by other dams and concrete constructions, but it is still one of the largest dams in America standing 726 feet high (221m), 1,244 feet long (379m), and weighing an impressive 6.6 million tonnes. The Great Pyramid weights almost the same as the Hoover Dam -just to give you an idea of the scale.
So, despite wrecking the beautiful landscape that was once there, the Hoover Dam has been very successful in accomplishing the jobs it was initially built for including flood prevention and irrigation. We could say the same of countless other man-made structures that seemingly have shown no respect for whatever was there previous. But you as an individual must weigh it up. Is it better to have a wild river that floods from time-to-time flowing down through beautiful canyons unabated by man’s touch? Or would you prefer a structure that is instrumental in providing water to over 25 million people in the southwest United States, not to mention, the irrigation aspect has enabled farming to take place in a region that was far too dry previously to effectively grow and feed a significant population.
Overall, the Hoover Dam has been an extremely beneficial engineering project and is the main proponent behind the growth of the region in which it is located. So what is the dam’s main use?