The Hoover Dam: One of America’s Most Treasured Feats of Engineering

The dam generates about 4 billion kW-hours of hydroelectric power per year.
Loukia Papadopoulos

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The Hoover Dam is one of America’s most treasured feats of engineering, providing power and water to millions. Located right on the border of Nevada and Arizona, the Hoover Dam's power plant contains one of the country’s largest hydroelectric installations to this day, even though almost a century has passed since its construction. 

The dam boats 17 turbines, running at a combined horsepower of about 3 million. On average, the dam generates about 4 billion kW-hours of hydroelectric power per year, serving 1.3 million people with electricity at any given time.

The reservoir behind the dam is Lake Mead which was formed by damming the Colorado River. It covers an area of 233 sq mi (603 sq km) and its shoreline spans 550 mi (885 km). Lake Mead can store up to 8.5 trillion gals (32 trillion L) of water when operating at its peak capacity, making it the largest reservoir in the U.S.

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The Hoover Dam is also one of the main reasons Las Vegas was allowed to grow and grow, ballooning to a population of over 2 million today. Its construction fueled the development of not only Las Vegas, but major cities such as Los Angeles and Phoenix into what they are today. 

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