Transcript for The Story of Hoover Dam, segment 11 of 12


The river flows southward, and along the way man diverts from the controlled stream to sustain his prosperous way of life. Sixty-seven miles downstream, Davis Dam reregulates the Colorado's flow, releasing water through its power plant turbines to irrigators in this country and Mexico. Davis Dam generators interconnect with those at Hoover Dam upstream and those at Parker Dam downstream. This energy goes out over transmission lines of the Parker-Davis Project to farms, homes, and factories. Much of this Colorado River energy pumps the farmer's irrigation and drainage water. Parker Dam, one hundred fifty-five miles downstream from Hoover Dam, was built with funds advanced by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Parker Dam provides a forebay for the district's Colorado River Aqueduct, another one of America's seven modern civil engineering wonders. Electrical energy from Parker and Hoover power plants pumps water along the aqueduct. This waterway delivers municipal and industrial supplies to the Los Angeles and San Diego coastal areas. Parker Dam also controls floods.

Below Parker Dam, Headgate Rock Dam diverts water to Colorado River Indian reservation lands in Arizona, and farther downstream the Palo Verde Diversion Dam sends water to the Palo Verde Irrigation District, oldest irrigation development on the Colorado River. At Imperial Dam and Desilting Works, three hundred miles downstream from Hoover Dam, Colorado River water enters river-size canals to irrigate farmlands in California and Arizona. The All-American Canal System carries part of the Colorado's flow westward to the Yuma, Imperial, and Coachella Valleys. When water reaches its farthest point on this canal system, it has traveled nearly five hundred miles after leaving Hoover Dam and has required ten days to make the trip.

The Gila Gravity Main Canal takes water from Imperial Dam south and east to valley and mesalands of the Gila and Yuma auxiliary projects.

Mexico's share of Colorado River water to irrigate lands below the border passes Imperial Dam, and most of it is diverted at Morelos Dam into the Alamo Canal.

The nonsurplus food, fiber, and forage crops grown on lands nourished by water from Hoover Dam find ready markets throughout the nation. While snow-covered lands lie idle, winter fruits and vegetables grown in the warm southwest with Colorado River water are shipped to dinner tables across the nation. In return, these irrigated areas buy farm machinery and other products from the manufacturing centers.

This exchange of goods between west and east, north and south, has helped develop America's free enterprise prosperity.

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