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Infographic: Hoover Dam’s Troubled Waters

Completed in 1935, Hoover Dam supplies 29 million people in Arizona, California and Nevada with a portion of their electricity.

A decade-long drought in the Colorado River Basin–along with over-allocation and a warming climate–have lowered Lake Mead by 130 feet, a drop which has threatened the dam’s ability to produce power. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is making efficiency improvements, but dam managers say that if the lake falls 33 more feet, the dam’s generators will be pushed to operate beyond their designed capacity.

Click through the tabs of the interactive infographic below to visualize different scenarios and statistics for this ongoing story.

Graphic © Daniel Cooper and Danielle Aber/Ball State University for Circle of Blue
To view in html, please click here: Hoover Dam’s Troubled Waters.

A visualization of Hoover Dam’s production capacity throughout a persistent decade-long drought that threatens to halt its power. Click on the tabs within the graphic for more information. If you are having trouble viewing this graphic click here.

Graphic created by Ball State University graduate students Daniel Cooper and Danielle Aber, with data compiled by Circle of Blue’s Brett Walton. Reach Walton at

Water Energy Facts U.S. Hydropower Hydroelectric Hoover Dam United States Choke Point

Water Energy Facts U.S. Hydropower Hydroelectric Hoover Dam United States Choke Point

  1. [...] Infographic: Hoover Dam's Troubled Waters | Circle of Blue | WaterNews [...]

  2. [...] Choke Point: U.S. Infographic: Hoover Dam’s Troubled Waters [...]

  3. [...] If measures are not taken to stabilize Lake Mead then the Dam will have to be shut down, leaving those 29 million people in the dark. For more information check out Circle of Blue. [...]

  4. [...] First: David Miller, Apart from War, Syracuse University: “Jerry’s Cabin” Second: Andrew Metcalf, The Daily Collegian, Penn State University: “Penn State All-Decade Application” Third: Zach Wade,, University of Missouri: “Home Economics” Honorable Mention: Dan Cooper, Circle of Blue, Ball State University: “Hoover Dam’s Troubled Waters” [...]

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