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Water has proven to be a valuable asset in the production of electricity The great need of energy in economical quantity due to increased industry and population growth Hydroelectricity is used worldwide where there is a means and a need for energy Hydroelectric dams are very high-tech but simple machines A dam holds back water creating a reservoir of potential power On the upper side of the dam a water gate is opened to let water surge through a tunnel leading to turbines The water turns the turbines which in turn spin generators to generate electricity The electricity is carried through cables to wherever it is needed Oroville Dam is the tallest and one of the largest earthen dams in the United States located in Northern California The dam completed in 1968 stands 770 feet high with a crest top of the dam 6920 feet long Over 80 million cubic yards of material were needed to build Oroville Dam-enough material to build a two-lane highway around the Earth The dams inner core is a layer of clay material which resists seepage Gold dredger tailings sand and gravel left from early gold dredging along the Feather River make up the remainder of Oroville Dam Beneath the dam a giant cavern almost as large as the State Capitol Building was hollowed out to hold six power generation units Coupled with four additional units in the Thermalito Power plant more than 28 billion kilowatt-hours of power are generated annually Oroville Dam was built as a multi-purpose project to provide water supply flood control power generation and fish and wildlife enhancement A primary purpose of the Dam was to provide flood control As the lake fills during heavy rains or large spring snow melts waters is carefully released to prevent flooding downstream saving both lives and costly property damage Oroville Dam is a major water storage facility for the State Water Project The
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