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Cultural History Natural History Construction History

Grand Coulee Dam was the key to the development of power on the Columbia River — the greatest potential source of hydroelectric energy in the United States. Original plans considered ten dams on the Columbia River between the Canadian border and the mouth of the river.

Grand Coulee Dam forms Lake Roosevelt, extending 151 miles upstream to the Canadian border. It has a 600-mile shoreline and a surface area of 82,000 acres. In 1948, Congress designated Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area, which is operated by the National Park Service.

Grand Coulee Dam provides water to irrigate approximately 600,000 acres in the Columbia Basin Project. In addition to its irrigation and power functions, Grand Coulee Dam is a primary factor in controlling the floods on the Columbia River.

Related Links
Photo Gallery (HTML)
The Columbia Basin Project (PDF 1.95 mb)
Grand Coulee Dam Fact Sheet (PDF 190 kb)
Visitor Center Exhibit Brochure (PDF 1.72 mb)
John W. Keys III Pump-Generating Plant Handout (PDF 374 kb)
John W. Keys III, Pump-Generating Plant Dedication Ceremony (HTML)
Northwest Power and Conservation Council (HTML)

Last Updated: 10/2/23