California’s electric grid operator has forecast power supplies will be tight this summer due to below average hydropower production and reduced generation, according to an assessment released on Wednesday. The California Independent System Operator (ISO), the grid operator, said the system’s capacity to serve consumers will be tight in high-load periods in the summer months, especially during the evenings of hot days when solar power dissipates.
Archive for date: May 9th, 2018
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For years, Californians have mismanaged the aquifers that supply the state with about 40 percent of its water supplies. Declining water levels from over-pumping have left less water for agriculture, urban, and other uses in many areas of the state. But the problems do not stop with groundwater users. Groundwater and surface water are closely connected, so declining groundwater can reduce streamflow at critical times of the year, and can devastate rivers, streams, and wetlands.
Imagine the snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains as a giant reservoir providing water for 23 million people throughout California. During droughts, this snow reserve shrinks, affecting water availability in the state. Researchers fear global warming will cause the Sierra Nevada snowpack to lose much of its freshwater by the end of the century, spelling trouble for water management throughout the state.
Warmer days — and nights. Rising sea levels. Less water available in summer. A report released Wednesday by state officials says climate change is affecting California’s ecosystem already in ways great and small. The document looks at 36 indicators that measure aspects of climate change, including human-influenced causes of climate change such as greenhouse gas emissions and the impact of the changes on people and wildlife.
Longer-range outlooks for Lake Mead and the Central Arizona Project are increasingly grim due to this year’s bad runoff, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said Wednesday. The result is that the bureau is pushing hard for states in both the Upper and Lower Basins of the Colorado River to reach agreement this year on drought planning to ease the pain of future shortages, after negotiations have so far failed.
Mexico and the U.S. states of Arizona and Nevada face a better-than-even possibility of getting less water from the Colorado River in 2020 because of a persistent drought, water managers said Wednesday. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which manages the river, released projections showing a 52 percent chance the river’s biggest reservoir, Lake Mead in Arizona and Nevada, will fall low enough in 2020 to trigger cutbacks under agreements governing the system.
The managers of California’s electrical grid warned Wednesday that the state is facing tight power supplies this summer, due in part to a drier winter that is reducing available hydro power. Some Californians could be forced to turn down their air conditioners, hold off on doing their laundry or make other sacrifices in the name of energy conservation.
Bigger, more intense forest fires, longer droughts, warmer ocean temperatures and an ever shrinking snowpack in the Sierra Nevada are “unequivocal” evidence of the ruinous domino-effects that climate change is having on California, a new California Environmental Protection Agency report states. The 350-page report released Wednesday tracks 36 indicators of climate change, including a comprehensive list of human impacts and the effects on wildlife, the ocean, lakes, rivers and the mountains.
Imagine a California where springtime temperatures are 7F warmer than they are today, where snowmelt runoff comes 50 days earlier and the average snowpack is just 36 percent of the 1981–2000 average. That may be the reality by the end of the century if we don’t curb greenhouse gas emissions, say researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles. A recent report from the UCLA Center for Climate Science analyzes how climate change will impact the Sierra Nevada and what that will mean for water resources.
When a contaminated aquifer in Orange County made U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s list of top-priority sites for “immediate, intense action,” the local water district was quick to highlight the announcement. But questions of political favoritism are swirling over Pruitt’s decision in December to prioritize cleaning the Orange County North Basin groundwater pollution plume beneath Anaheim and Fullerton using the federal Superfund program. Newly disclosed records show the action occurred soon after a meeting between Pruitt, the Orange County Water District and its lawyers that was arranged by conservative radio and television host Hugh Hewitt.