At the lower end of Grand Canyon, the Colorado widens into Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the continental United States, formed by Hoover Dam on the border of Arizona and Nevada.Situated southeast of metropolitan Las Vegas, the dam is an integral component for management of the Colorado River, controlling floods and storing water for farms and cities in the lower Colorado River basin.Beginning with small bands of nomadic hunter-gatherers, Native Americans have inhabited the Colorado River basin for at least 8,000 years.
During the construction of Glen Canyon Dam, environmental organizations vowed to block any further development of the river, and a number of later dam and aqueduct proposals were defeated by citizen opposition.
Large engineering works began around the start of the 20th century, with major guidelines established in a series of international and U. interstate treaties known as the "Law of the River". Most of the major dams were built between 19; the system keystone, Hoover Dam, was completed in 1935.
The Colorado is now considered among the most controlled and litigated rivers in the world, with every drop of its water fully allocated.
Large-scale settlement of the lower basin began in the mid- to late-19th century, with steamboats providing transportation from the Gulf of California to landings along the river that linked to wagon roads to the interior.
Lesser numbers settled in the upper basin, which was the scene of major gold strikes in the 1860s and 1870s. federal government was the main driving force behind the construction of dams and aqueducts, although many state and local water agencies were also involved.