Impacts of California’s Ongoing Drought: Hydroelectricity Generation

California’s hottest and driest drought in recorded history is shifting the sources of energy for electricity with adverse economic and environmental consequences. The Pacific Institute, an internationally-renowned independent think tank focused on water issues, released a report that reveals diminished river flows have resulted in less hydroelectricity, more expensive electricity, and increased production of greenhouse gas emissions.

“This severe drought has many negative consequences. One of them that receives little attention is how the drought has fundamentally changed the way our electricity is produced,” said the report’s author, Pacific Institute President Peter Gleick. “We hope this report prompts a lively debate on how to factor in a changing climate when we plan for electricity generation,” he added.

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