A Big Test For Big Batteries

In Southern California in the fall of 2015, a giant natural gas leak not only caused one of the worst environmental disasters in the nation’s history, it also knocked out a critical fuel source for regional power plants. Energy regulators needed a quick fix. But rather than sticking with gas, they turned to a technology more closely associated with flashlights: batteries. They freed up the utilities to start installing batteries — and lots of them.

From drought To Deluge: How One California River Tells The Story Of A Waning Drought

Torrents of meltwater coursed down the granite crevices below the moonscape of the Desolation Wilderness. Just miles from its source in the High Sierra, the South Fork of the American River was already roaring down toward the oaken foothills, bursting over the spillways of dams that humans had erected to control it. As it moved, it gathered streams and rivulets — pink and brown and orange from the minerals they leached. The heavy rain turned dusty creek beds into full-fledged tributaries. Running through narrowing clefts they burst forth as from hydraulic jets.