Hoover Dam and Lake Mead
Since 1935, Hoover Dam and Lake Mead have provided flood control, irrigation, drinking water, and power to communities in the desert. These resources have transformed the southwest into production farmland and thriving communities. The dam was originally built to protect farmland in southern California from flooding by the Colorado River. The Bureau of Reclamation planned the project and designed the dam. Engineering geologists played an important role by surveying the Colorado River for potential dam sites, conducting subsurface investigations, and mapping foundation conditions during construction.
Hoover Dam has long been recognized nationally and internationally as one of the world's greatest engineering and construction achievements. Built of 3.23 million cubic yards of concrete, the dam is 726 feet high, 660 feet thick at the base, and 1,244 feet long at the crest. It was the highest dam in the world from 1935 to 1967 and the largest hydroelectric plant in the world from 1936 to 1949. Lake Mead continues to be the largest man-made reservoir in North America. Built during the Great Depression, over 5,000 workers from virtually
Water and power from Hoover Dam and Lake Mead have provided vital benefits to the southwest and the nation. Water from Lake Mead irrigates farmland in southern California and southwestern Arizona. Fruit and vegetables grown in this area are consumed across the country year round. Lake Mead supplies municipal water to Las Vegas, Phoenix, and 33 communities in the Los Angeles area. Hoover Dam generates 4 billion kilowatt hours of electricity a year, enough for 1.3 million people. This power is renewable and does not produce air pollution or toxic water. Income from the sale of electricity pays all to operating costs of the dam.
Lake Mead was established as the country's first national recreation area in 1964. It is the fifth most visited park in the National Park system. Nine million people a year come to Lake Mead for boating, fishing, swimming, camping, hiking, and picnicking. The lake covers 247 square mile and has 700 miles of shoreline. The recreation area covers 1.5 million acres and serves as a protected home for desert wildlife such as bighorn sheep, coyotes, jack rabbits, and desert tortoises.
Environmental impacts from construction of Hoover Dam have become apparent over the years. The Federal government and states of Nevada, Arizona,
For 70 years, Hoover Dam and Lake Mead have provided the benefits needed to make the desert southwest productive and livable. Without Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, major cities in Nevada, Arizona, and southern California could not exist as we know then today. This legendary project will continue to provide benefits will into the future as the southwest grows and prospers.
Erected 2005 by Association of Engineering Geologists.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Agriculture • Charity & Public Work • Natural Resources • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the National Historic Landmarks series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1935.
Location. 36° 0.998′ N, 114° 44.343′ W. Marker is near Boulder City, Nevada, in Clark County. Marker is on U.S. 93
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Civil Engineering Monument of the Millennium (here, next to this marker); They Died to Make the Desert Bloom (here, next to this marker); They Laboured that Millions might see a Brighter Day (here, next to this marker); Dr. Elwood Mead (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Dr. Elwood Mead (here, next to this marker); The Hoover Dam Construction Mascot (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Dog Who Owned a Dam (about 400 feet away); Hoover Dam (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Boulder City.
Regarding Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. The dam was started in 1931 and used enough concrete to build a road from New York to San Francisco. The stretch of water it created, Lake Mead, is 110 miles long and took six years to fill. The original road was opened at the same time as the famous dam in 1936.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.
Credits. This page was last revised on March 13, 2023. It was originally submitted on June 25, 2007, by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 6,331 times since then and 163 times this year. Last updated on June 14, 2010, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. It was the Marker of the Week October 9, 2011. Photos: 1. submitted on June 25, 2007, by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia. 2. submitted on June 14, 2010, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. 3. submitted on June 15, 2010, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. 4, 5. submitted on June 25, 2007, by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia. 6, 7, 8. submitted on June 15, 2010, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. 9. submitted on November 4, 2011, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 10. submitted on June 25, 2007, by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia. 11. submitted on November 16, 2009, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. 12, 13, 14, 15. submitted on December 25, 2014, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.