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Posts Tagged ‘Lake Havasu’

A tour of Hoover Dam and the Colorado River Aqueduct system

Posted by George J Janczyn on May 20, 2013

This past weekend about 30 San Diego County inhabitants and I were guests of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) and the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) for an inspection trip to visit Hoover Dam and Colorado River Aqueduct facilities. Our tour guides were Vincent Mudd (SDCWA Director and representative to MWD’s board), Marty Hundley (MWD Inspection Trip Specialist), and Debbie Espe (SDCWA Senior Water Resources Specialist).

We assembled at SDCWA headquarters at 6:15am Friday where we were seated in the board room directors’ chairs for a brief presentation about the Water Authority, then filed onto a chartered bus to the airport, submitted to the usual TSA indignities and boarding area wait, and boarded our one-hour flight to Las Vegas. There, we rode another chartered bus to Boulder City where box lunches from The Dillinger Food and Drinkery were ready for us, and continued on to Hoover Dam. We ate our lunches in the visitor center auditorium during a speaker presentation and short film about the dam’s history. Then we began our tour.

(your smartphones won’t do these photos justice; you’ll get a much better sense of scale on a large desktop or tablet display and click the pictures for enlargements)

Hoover Dam Visitor Center, awaiting the elevator to the bottom.

Hoover Dam Visitor Center, awaiting the elevator to the bottom

Generators in the powerplant. There are nine on the Arizona wing, eight on the Nevada side.

Generators in the powerplant. There are nine on the Arizona wing, eight on the Nevada side.

Lake Mead's water level is low so reduced pressure means generators vibrate more and produce less power. A new generator design is being tested and if successful all will be replaced.

Lake Mead’s water level is low so reduced pressure means generators vibrate more and produce less power. Our guide told us a new generator designed to maintain efficiency with less water pressure is being tested and if successful, all will be replaced.

View at the bottom of the dam from the powerplant on the Arizona side.

View at the bottom of the dam from the powerplant on the Arizona side.

From the base of the dam, the power plants and the Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge which allows traffic on U.S. 93 to cross directly into Arizona without having to drive over the dam.

From the base of the dam, the power plants and the new Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge (Hoover Dam Bypass) which allows traffic on U.S. 93 to cross directly into Arizona without having to wait in a long line to drive over the dam.

 

Back on our bus, we backtracked a little to drive over the bypass bridge and continued southeast on U.S. 93 to Kingman, Arizona. There we turned toward the Colorado River on I-40, then SR 95, passing through Lake Havasu City (yes, we saw the London Bridge) and past Parker Dam.

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