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Dams
送交者: jingchen 2019年07月25日22:20:53 于 [美国移民] 发送悄悄话

Dams

We visited two dams, Hoover Dam and Glen Canyon Dam.

Both Hoover Dam and Glen Canyon Dam are constructed on the Colorado River. 

Hoover Dam, close to Las Vegas, is downstream from the Grand Canyon. Glen Canyon Dam, close to Page, Arizona, is upstream from the Grand Canyon. Hoover Dam created Lake Mead, the largest man made lake in US. Glen Canyon Dam created Lake Powell, the second largest man made lake in US. 

Hoover Dam, being close to Vegas, is a popular tourist destination. We have to park very far from the dam and walked back to the dam under the cooking sun. You even have to pay ten dollars to get into the visitor centre. We opted out.

Touring Glen Canyon Dam is a much more relaxed and enjoyable experience. Few people parked outside visitor center. We took a guided tour down the generator room. We also drove along the shore of the beautiful Lake Powell.

When we drove back home, we drove along the Columbia River. Actually, the Columbia River houses the Grand Coulee Dam, the largest hydro dam, ranked by the electricity output. But we didn’t pass that part. We drove past the Dulles Dam and some other dams.

I read more about these dams. Dams generate electricity. Dams accumulate water. With electricity as power, tremendous amount of water is pumped to vast amount of land. This turns the dry land in the large part of US west into agricultural heaven. When we travel through US west, the contrast between irrigated land and the rest is very stark. Electricity power turns barren desert into productive agricultural oasis. Electricity also turns desert into livable heaven. 

Most dams were dreamed up more than a century ago and built up more than half century ago. It was an age of grand dreams and grand actions. Hydro dams harnessed so much untapped resources to serve human needs. It transformed so much barren land into productive and livable heaven. However the social opinions have turned. Nowadays, dams, as well as other constructions, are often viewed from more negative perspectives.

When you see the greenness of the irrigated land and the drabness of the rest, you can make your own judgement on the impact of dams to the environment. When you live comfortably in the desert area where it was inhabitable without electricity, you can make your own judgement on the impact of dams to the environment. For me, I would salute the grand vision of these pioneers and the hard work they put in to turn their vision into reality.


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