Dam
This mile-long federal dam on the Columbia is the second largest producer of hydropower in the nation, after the Grand Coulee. Unlike the other dams downstream, there is no fish ladder at this dam, finally stopping the most persistent salmon from migrating beyond this point.
The Seattle City Light Company operates this and the nearby Ross and Gorge dams, which hold back water on the Skagit River in the north Cascades, and generate electricity for Seattle. The Skagit project started in 1919, and the Diablo Dam, reservoir, and powerhouse was the second of the three to be...
The Elephant Butte Reservoir is the largest reservoir in New Mexico, and one of the few in this arid state. It is named after the unusual - and some say elephant-shaped - rock jutting out of the water. The reservoir is formed by the 300 foot tall Elephant Butte Dam, which when it was built, in 1916...
Largest volume embankment dam in the USA (96,050,000 cubic meters), the second largest in the world (follows Tarbela Dam in Pakistan -- 148,500,000 cubic meters).
Holds back Lake Sakakawea, the third largest man-made lake in the country, and one of several major lakes made by dams along the Missouri River.
Construction of this dam on the Colorado River, upstream from the Grand Canyon, started in 1956 and created Lake Powell when it was finished in 1963. The lake flooded a 186-mile long valley, forming the second largest man-made lake in the country (after Lake Mead, 200 miles downstream), a water...
The legendary Grand Coulee Dam is still one of the largest concrete dams in the world, and the largest hydroelectric plant in the country (third largest in the world), generating 6,500 megawatts of power. It is also the origin of the Columbia Basin Project, where water is pumped above the dam into...
Art Deco wonder of the west, which created the largest man-made lake in the country, Lake Mead. It was built primarily to control flooding and provide a stable supply of water downstream, secondarily to produce electricity, and tertiarily to employ people, and to prove that it could be done....
The Imperial Dam is the headworks and origin for the All American Canal, which is the main source of water for the Imperial Valley. It is one of a few major structures on the lower Colorado River, such as the Hoover Dam and the Parker Dam, built by the Bureau of Reclamation to control flooding and...
A federal dam on the Columbia River, the John Day Dam produces enough electricity (more than 2 million kilowatts) to power all of Seattle. The dam and lock system were completed in 1968, and soon attracted the Harvey Aluminum Corporation (now Goldendale Aluminum), which built a smelter on the...
As in other parts of the country, most of the lakes in New England are manmade. Edward MacDowell Lake was created by the construction of the Edward MacDowell Dam, in 1948-1950. It is part of a network of flood control stuctures in New England, built and operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers....
Some of the dams along the Columbia that have fish ladders offer public viewing areas to watch salmon make their way through the dam, though seeing fish through the window is rare, as some estimate that 90% of the salmon population of the Columbia has been eliminated by the dams. At the McNary Dam...
Second largest volume embankment dam in the USA, which created Lake Oahe, the fourth-largest manmade reservoir in the United Sates.
The Old River Control Structure is composed of this billion dollar series of locks and dams located at a point along the Mississippi River, which prevent the river from diverting into the Atchafalaya River. The natural meandering patterns of the Mississippi encourage the course of flow to veer into...
The Oroville Dam is the highest dam in the USA, 754 feet from bottom to top. Higher even than the Hoover dam, at 726 feet. This reservoir captures water from the Feather River watershed, and is one of the points of origin for the California State Water Project, a network of dams, reservoirs,...
The San Luis Dam is the fourth largest embankment dam in the USA, and holds back the 12,700-acre San Luis Reservoir. This reservoir is part of the California State Water Project, a network of dams, reservoirs, pumping stations, and 550 miles of canals and major conduits, that distribute water from...
A salinity control structure on Montezuma Slough is part of the engineering infrastructure built to restore the habitat of the vast Suisun Marsh, east of San Francisco Bay. These gates are opened when water flowing out of the delta is fresh (generally in the winter) and are closed when the salt...
The Teton Dam, a brand new 305-foot high earthen dam, broke in 1976, flooding the downstream towns of Rexburg, Wilford, Sugar City, Salem and Hibbard. The Bureau of Reclamation built the dam in 1975 citing the need, ironically, for flood control. Over the next several months the reservoir rapidly...
This dam was the first major development in the Tennessee Valley, and led to the formation of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), a government agency that now employs 27,000 people and is the largest energy producer in the United States. The Wilson Dam was built during World War I to provide...