Text excerpt from log report for Day 14:
The industrial utilization of the river began early this century to meet increasing demands for water and electricity. The growth of cities such as Las Vegas, and of agricultural regions like the Imperial Valley, is a direct result of the economic utilization of the Colorado River. It has led to the realization of the following projects:
- construction of the Hoover Dam (1936)
- construction of the Parker Dam (1939)
- Imperial Dam and All America Canal (1940)
- Colorado River Aqueduct (1931 - 1941)
- Central Arizona Project (still under construction)
These dams and canals have helped secure the fragile living space for residents in this area. Seasonal floods in spring and autumn, which used to create problems for infrastructure, have meanwhile been brought under control. And, since the above-listed projects helped generate considerable demand for jobs, they were thus responsible for stabilizing the economic situation of these various regions during periods of high unemployment.
Picture: Hoover Dam - 372 meters above the Colorado River
Picture: The coal-fired power station of Laughlin - the coal is transported from Page to Laughlin along a 440-km long pipeline
Lake Mead, the largest man-made lake in the United States covering 639 square kilometers is situated east of Las Vegas. It was named after Elwood Mead, a land reclamation officer. Because of the Hoover Dam (named after Herbert Hoover, 31st President of the United States), the dammed Colorado River forms an 885-kilometer long shoreline, which is 372 meters above the river's level whenever the full capacity of the dam is reached. As a result, 35.2 million cubic meters of water can be stored, or the equivalent of nearly two years of the river's annual flow. The dam's construction goes back to legislation in Congress in 1928. That year, the Boulder Canyon Project Act was passed, which regulated the utilization of the Colorado River between Nevada and Arizona. Construction began in 1931 in the Black Canyon and was completed by 1935, two years earlier than scheduled. In October 1936 electricity was generated for the first time by a water-driven generator. By 1961, 16 additional generators had been installed with a total capacity of 2,080 megawatts.