Transcript for The Story of Hoover Dam, segment 10 of 12


As the last sounds of construction faded into history, Hoover Dam had cost one hundred seventy-five million dollars. Less a deferred payment of twenty-five million dollars allocated to flood control, Hoover Dam's cost is being returned to the federal treasury at three percent interest from the sale of hydroelectric power.

Hoover Dam has fulfilled the hopes and expectations of those who envisioned this great reclamation project. Colorado River waters that once destroyed man and his property now serve it.

The Colorado pours its waters into Lake Mead, named for Dr. Elwood Mead, Reclamation commissioner during construction. Lying calmly behind the dam, these waters await need by downstream users. Water is released through the Hoover power plant turbines in a year-round flow to irrigate over one and one-quarter million acres of desert land, serve municipal and industrial needs of the Pacific southwest, generate hydroelectric energy, and provide various other multipurpose benefits. The clear waters of Lake Mead have opened up a vast, new recreational, fish, and wildlife vacation land for America. Millions beat paths to this one-time wilderness along the Colorado River to picnic, go boating, swim, fish, and enjoy these important outdoor reclamation products.

Hoover Dam and its power plant work around the clock to serve water and power needs of the Pacific southwest. Water from Lake Mead passing into the intake towers falls over five hundred feet through the penstocks to spin the giant turbine wheels and then discharge to the river. This action is repeated at downstream reclamation dams. Transformers step up Hoover Dam voltage as it comes from the generators. Lines carry this power up over the powerhouse roof to the switchyard. From there, it is transmitted over lines across the desert.