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How to Use the Images

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Historical Context

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Illustration 1
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Photo 2
Photo 3
Photo 4
Photo 5

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Visual Evidence

Photo 1: Aerial View of Minidoka Dam and Powerplant, 2015.

Photo 1: Aerial View of Minidoka Dam and Powerplant, 2015.(Bureau of Reclamation)

You are looking east toward the Minidoka Dam and Powerplant. The dam on the south end is 86 feet high and 736 feet long. The 2,400-foot-long concrete spillway stretches out in a zig-zag, south to north. The historic, multistory 1909 powerplant can be seen at the north end of the dam, between the river and the reservoir. Water flows from the reservoir through the powerplant generators, and then into the river. The distance the water falls between the reservoir and river determines how much power the plant can generate.

The two main project canals are also visible. The Main North Side Canal appears vertical in the bottom left part of the image. The Main South Side Canal appears horizontal near the upper right edge.

Questions for Photo 1

1) Identify the Minidoka Dam, powerplant building, canals, and the reservoir in Photo 1. What evidence in the photo helped you find them?

2) How does the level of the water in the reservoir compare with the level of the water after it leaves the powerplant? How does this difference relate to the production of electricity in the powerplant?

3) Assess the length of the dam and spillway. Sometimes the best way to get a sense of the size of a large structure is to compare it to something you know. A football field is 360 feet long. How many fields long is the dam?

4) How did the Reclamation Act change the landscape of the West? What evidence of the effects of the Minidoka Project do you see in this photo?



Click for a larger version of Photo 1.

 

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