Northeastern Washington

The Grand Coulee Dam
Trip Day Nineteen: June 30, 2000

Peeking Through The Power Lines

at the Visitor Center, the large white building at the left side of the picture. There we learned something of the history of the dam and the geology of Eastern Washington. The original purpose of the dam was for irrigation. The generation of electricity was almost an after thought. It didn't take long for the sales of electricity to pay for the construction of the dam.

We also see the towns of Grand Coulee and Coulee Dam. Grand Coulee is nearest the dam, in the left center of the picture, and Coulee Dam is across the river. These two metropolises join the third town, Electric City to form the representation of civilization near the dam site. Our host told us that a group had tried to get the towns to join forces, but the good citizens of the three towns would rather pay for triplicate services than to loose their separate identities.

Tubes Carry Irrigation Water to Banks Lake.

During the night when power usage is low, they pump water from Lake Roosevelt, impounded by the dam, up 280 feet to Banks Lake feeder canal above the river gorge. From there the water is distributed to a wide area to make farming feasible in this arid land.

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Page last updated August 9, 2000.