Five years ago, the United States invited negotiators for the three parties to the Renaissance Dam crisis from the irrigation ministers in Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan.
And the administration of former President Barack Obama organized a workshop for negotiation teams held in the state of Nevada, and organized a visit for them to the "Hoover Dam", which is the largest dam in the United States.
And Washington aimed behind this to show the importance of cooperation through a living and successful model in the exploitation of the river’s waters by several parties (states), each with different interests from other states.
As well as informing the various parties, directly, on how to cooperate between them in sharing the benefits of the river by building confidence between the parties, and showing American interest in the issue.
The behavior of the Colorado River was unpredictable, for in a year it flooded its waters and washed all the surrounding villages, communities and agricultural lands, and in other years it was playing with rocks in its path, destroying what faced its renewable and unstable path.
For American engineers, the solution was clear: building a large multipurpose dam that would not only control floods, but also harness the river for irrigation and hydroelectric power generation.
Six of the seven states located along the river’s path (Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada) have expressed concerns that California will get the lion’s share of the water.
But the negotiations allowed for an agreement between the seven states to divide the shares of water and electricity that could be consumed annually.
The upper part of the dam (island)
The story of the construction of the dam
Construction of the Hoover Dam began in 1931, and more than 16,000 workers participated in the construction.
The United States knew at that time the Great Depression, and the dam construction project was an opportunity for thousands of families to offer to live in this harsh mountainous desert region that does not attract residents.
More than a hundred workers died during the construction process, either due to work accidents where many rock explosions were carried out, or the death was due to severe heat or illness due to harsh living conditions.
The dam generated cheap electrical power, which allowed the area to grow. The village of Las Vegas, located 30 miles from the dam, expanded and turned into a mega city after the construction of the dam was completed.
The dam is located in an area of rock canyons that rise in some areas to more than 500 meters, and engineers were forced to tame nature and cut rocks and consume more than 4.5 million cubic meters of cement to resist the factors of nature.
Because of the intense heat in the area, the engineers did not construct the dam building as a single piece of concrete, but rather constructed a group of adjacent columns, separated for short periods of water pipes, and the columns were connected as a single solid wall with the disposal of piped water.
The Hoover Dam is gigantic by all standards. It is an arc-shaped concrete located between giant canyons on both sides of the Colorado River that separates the states of Nevada and Arizona. The construction of the giant dam resulted in the formation of the largest freshwater reservoir in the United States, known as Lake Mead, which is 180 km long Its width is 162 meters, that is, it covers an area of about 248 square miles and is able to retain about 28.9 million acres of water. The lake provides irrigation and drinking water to residents of Arizona, Nevada and large areas of California.
The construction of the dam took 6 years from 1931 until 1936, and was inaugurated by former President Franklin Roosevelt, and it is the highest among the world's dams. It is 379 meters long, 221 meters high, and can contain 31 trillion liters of water.
The Hoover Dam power plant was the largest hydroelectric station in the world from 1939 to 1949. Its installed capacity is 2,080 megawatts, and currently generates about 4 billion kilowatt hours of hydropower annually, for homes and factories in Nevada, Arizona and California.
Construction of the Hoover Dam began in 1931 and continued until 1936 (the island)
The Hoover Dam is an important tourist destination, and has become an open engineering museum that allows visitors to view this creative engineering masterpiece.
The construction of the dam for millions of Americans in the 1930s represented what American workers could do, even in the midst of the Great Depression.
More than 7 million people come annually to visit the dam now.
The visit was facilitated, as roads were established adjacent to it and platforms through which all its parts could be viewed, and many car parks and pedestrian places were established, and basic services were provided for visitors.
Dam workers knew that there was a black dog in the construction area, and they called it "Nigh".
No one owned the dog, and for years he was a friend of the workers running among them and climbing the mountain with them.
The dog died in an accident before the construction of the dam was completed, and a memorial plaque was erected to commemorate him and tell his story near his tomb, which attracts many visitors.