Originally built in 1881 as a dam and water tunnel to channel water to Lake Montebello and Lake Clifton, a new dam, creating a modern large reservoir lake, was constructed in 1914 in an attempt to increase the municipal water supply, submerging the agricultural village of Warren.
In 1923, the dam was elevated from 51 feet to 117 feet, and was viewed by many as a step towards the re-vitalization of Baltimore after the Great Fire of 1904. It is fed by the Big Gunpowder Falls river, and has a capacity of 23 billion gallons of water.
In addition to providing potable drinking water to Baltimore City and Baltimore County, the lake serves as a park and recreational area for the public to enjoy.
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