Hoover Dam is located on the border of Arizona and Nevada and was constructed on the Colorado River in Black Canyon between years1930 and 1936. It is famous for being the highest concrete arch dam in the United States at 726 feet high (221 meters) and 1,244 feet long (379 meters) at the crest, and is famous for supplying water and power to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix and other rapidly growing cities in the Southwest.
Lake Mead is created by the dam, which extends for 115 miles (185 km) upstream and is one of the largest artificial lakes in the world. The dam is used for flood and silt control, hydroelectric power, agricultural irrigation, and domestic water supply. It is also a major sightseeing destination, with some seven million visitors a year, almost one million of whom go on tours through the dam.
Hoover Dam is named after the former U.S. president Herbert Hoover who was in office during the years that construction began on the dam (1929–1933). His work as commerce secretary in the 1920s secured agreements necessary for the project to proceed. The dam was built during the Great Depression and was able to create jobs for over 21,000 workers. It had become a symbol of economic progress and hope during these difficult times. The original name of the dam was Boulder Dam, but in 1947 Truman signed a congressional resolution restoring the structure’s formal name to Hoover Dam for official use.
85+ years after its completion in 1935, the infrastructure at Hoover Dam continues to retain water and generate electricity for nearby states. But the rules for managing the river and dividing up its water were created in the 1922 Colorado River Compact, which has been modified over the years and is now facing the greatest strains since the dam was built.
The effects of years of severe drought and temperatures pushed higher by climate change are strikingly visible along Lake Mead’s retreating shorelines and waters are at a historic low. Since 2000, the water level in the reservoir, which is the largest in the country, has dropped almost 150 feet. Lake Mead is now less than 35% full and is headed for a first-ever official shortage since it was filled. Increased drought conditions combined with the river's severe overuse threaten the water supplies of cities and farmlands, also revealing how the system of managing and use of water in the desert Southwest is unsustainable.
Visit Hoover Dam on a Las Vegas "mini" tour that doesn't take up a whole day so you don't waste your precious vacation time. Or, perhaps you have a late flight and want to do something fun after hotel check-out. After departing the Strip, head to the dam, where you visit lookout points … More
Visit Hoover Dam on a Las Vegas "mini" tour that doesn't take up a whole day so you don't waste your precious vacation time. Or, perhaps you have a late flight and want to do something fun after hotel check-out. After departing the Strip, head to the dam, where you visit lookout points for views and photo ops.