After slowing to a trickle during the past five years of punishing drought, hydroelectric power in California is poised to make a major comeback this spring and summer, thanks to the wet winter. Across Northern California, hydroelectricity producers say their reservoirs are brimming at levels not seen in decades.
As part of its ongoing management of water flows, the Department of Water Resources will increase outflows from Lake Oroville to the Feather River from the current 13,300 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 50,000 cfs between 11 AM and 2 PM on Friday, March 17 and then maintain those higher flows. … The Feather River elevation will rise between 10 and 15 feet early Friday afternoon, depending on channel geometry and location.
Aquafornia’s Water Word of the Week from sister site Aquapedia, the Water Education Foundation’s vetted, online water encyclopedia, is Hydroelectric Power.
According to an Aquapedia excerpt, “Hydroelectric power is produced when water turns a turbine connected to a generator. This water is stored behind a dam at elevation. Gravity causes water to drop toward a turbine propeller.
“The Obama administration’s announcement Monday of sweeping new rules aimed at curbing global warming emissions from power plants could boost profits at Silicon Valley companies that make solar panels, energy efficiency software and other clean technology.”
From U-T San Diego, in a commentary by Keith Johnson:
“Among all the terrible things that California’s historic drought promises to bring this year — fallow farm land, dead livestock, more wildfires — there are a couple more nasty treats in store: higher electricity prices and rising greenhouse-gas emissions.
“That’s because the drought is hammering California’s ability to generate electricity from hydroelectric power …”
From the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA):
“The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power held a hearing Thursday entitled “Keeping Hydropower Affordable and Reliable: The Protection of Existing Hydropower Investments and the Promotion of New Development.”
“A giant energy project that would turn an abandoned open pit mine near Joshua Tree National Park into two hydroelectric storage reservoirs got a thumbs-up from California’s main water quality agency this week.”