The United States as a dam

In the midst of the Depression, a major engineering task when building the Hoover Dam (whose name also became a political issue) was what to do with the Colorado River while the dam was being built. The untamed Colorado River was wild, powerful, and unpredictable.  Remember: carving out the Grand Canyon is on its résumé.  If you weren't able to control its flows, disastrous outcomes would result, hazardous to lives, property, and the environment.  (There – we took care of the politically correct component of this article.) The solution of the brilliant engineers (a redundancy) was to build a series of temporary dams (cofferdams) and diversionary tunnels to hold back and control the waters of the temperamental Colorado.  While the dam was the objective, it required these interim measures of equal import to effect its construction.  Though this temporary measure was a major and necessary engineering feat by itself, it was lost in...(Read Full Post)

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