California’s power grid has a big drought problem



California Drought Conditions at Lake Oroville
In an aerial view, houseboats whose owners chose to leave them in the lake, float at a water level nearly 200 feet below normal at the Lime Saddle Marina for Lake Oroville near Paradise, California, on June 8th, 2021. Drought has caused the water level to drop in Lake Oroville several hundred feet, leaving houseboat owners to make a choice to leave their craft in the water or to remove them since boat ramps will not reach the low level of the water as it drops lower and lower. | Photo by Carlos Avila Gonzalez / The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Drought is putting pressure on California’s already stressed-out grid. As water reservoirs run dry, there’s been a significant drop in hydroelectric generation. Without enough water pressure to quickly turn turbine blades, there could be electricity shortages right when residents need it the most.

Rolling blackouts have already become a new norm for the state as utilities shut down power lines in an attempt to avoid sparking fires during hot, dry weather. But summertime outages also occur when residents crank up their air conditioners to beat the heat and demand outpaces the available power supply.

“California relies on hydro…

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