From the National Park Service website:
The American West is known for its expansive prairies, great mountains, and arid climate. The Bureau of Reclamation, the nation’s largest supplier of water and second-largest producer of hydroelectric power, controlled the wild rivers of the West with its historic dams and water control projects–great engineering feats constructed by many workers. Damming rivers has provided water to reclaim hundreds of thousands of acres transforming sagebrush to lush farmland, and delivered water to create towns and great cities, allowing the “desert to bloom.” Learn about the vital role of the Bureau of Reclamation in managing, developing, and protecting water in the United States. Explore the history of water in the West and visit the historic dams and water projects that created the West we know today. The Bureau of Reclamation Historic Dams and Water Projects Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary was produced by the National Park Service’s Heritage Education Services and its Intermountain Region Heritage Partnerships Program, in partnership with the Bureau of Reclamation and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers.”
Here’s the release from the National Park Service (Kathy Kupper):
The American West was dramatically transformed in the early 20th century by dams, reservoirs, and canals built to provide water for irrigation and hydropower generation. The introduction of water to the arid landscape spurred settlement, farming, and economic stability. Learn the fascinating history of 25 engineering marvels that permitted the desert to bloom in the National Park Service’s newest online travel itinerary Bureau of Reclamation Historic Dams and Water Projects: Managing Water in the West. The itinerary, loaded with essays, images, information, and maps, is available at http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/travel/ReclamationDamsAndWaterProjects/index.html.
Each of the 25 historic dams in the itinerary is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, which is maintained by the National Park Service. The dams represent the complexities and challenges of building water projects and the significant role the Bureau of Reclamation played in shaping life in the West. Bureau of Reclamation projects, today as in the past, have a sweeping impact on irrigation and municipal and industrial water supplies, hydroelectric power, navigation, flood control, and recreational opportunity.
The National Park Service’s Heritage Education Services and its Intermountain Region Heritage Partnerships Program produced this itinerary in partnership with the Bureau of Reclamation and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers. This itinerary is the 54th in the online Discover Our Shared Heritage travel itinerary series. The series supports historic preservation, promotes public awareness of history, and encourages visits to historic places throughout the country.
Thanks to Bob Berwyn (Summit County Citizens Voice) for the heads up.
More infrastructure coverage here.