Hoover Dam

hydroelectric dam on the Colorado River, United States

The Hoover Dam is a large dam on the Colorado River. It is on the border of the states of Arizona and Nevada. The reservoir it made is called Lake Mead. The dam is named after the former US President Herbert Hoover. At first it was called "Boulder Dam", but the name was changed to honor Hoover, who was president when the idea of building the dam started.

Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam by Ansel Adams, 1941
Official nameHoover Dam
LocationClark County, Nevada / Mohave County, Arizona, U.S.
PurposePower, flood control, water storage, regulation, recreation
Construction began1931
Opening date1936
(88 years ago)
Construction cost$49 million (1931 budget)
($684 million in 2020 dollars[1])
Owner(s)United States Government
Operator(s)U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
Dam and spillways
Type of damConcrete gravity-arch
ImpoundsColorado River
Height726.4 ft (221.4 m)
Length1,244 ft (379 m)
Elevation at crest1,232 ft (376 m)
Width (crest)45 ft (14 m)
Width (base)660 ft (200 m)
Dam volume3,250,000 cu yd (2,480,000 m3)
Spillway type2 controlled Drum-Gate, Side channel
Spillway capacity400,000 cu ft/s (11,000 m3/s)
CreatesLake Mead
Total capacity28,537,000 acre⋅ft (35.200 km3)
Active capacity15,853,000 acre⋅ft (19.554 km3)
Inactive capacity10,024,000 acre⋅ft (12.364 km3)
Catchment area167,800 sq mi (435,000 km2)
Surface area247 sq mi (640 km2)
Maximum length112 mi (180 km)
Maximum water depth590 ft (180 m)
Normal elevation1,219 ft (372 m)
Power Station
Operator(s)U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
Commission date1936–1960
Hydraulic head590 ft (180 m) (Max)
Turbines13× 130 MW
2× 127 MW
1× 68.5 MW
1× 61.5 MW Francis-type
2× 2.4 MW Pelton-type
Installed capacity2,080 MW
Capacity factor23%
Annual generation4.2 TWh (15 PJ)
Bureau of Reclamation: Lower Colorado Region - Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam is located in USA West
Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam is located in the United States
Hoover Dam
Nearest cityBoulder City, Nevada
Coordinates36°0′56″N 114°44′16″W / 36.01556°N 114.73778°W / 36.01556; -114.73778
ArchitectSix Companies, Inc. (structural), Gordon Kaufmann (exteriors)
Architectural styleArt Deco
MPSVehicular Bridges in Arizona MPS (AD)
NRHP reference No.81000382
Significant dates
Added to NRHPApril 8, 1981
Designated NHLAugust 20, 1985


  1. Inflated values automatically calculated.

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