Extreme heat may also mean shortages of electricity and water


Officials of the Federal Bureau of Reclamation Report this month Two large reservoirs in the west—Lake Mead in Nevada and Arizona, and Lake Powell in Utah and Colorado—are deteriorating into a “dead pool” where the level of water storage is so low that it cannot be rotated The large hydroelectric generator is buried in the dam. As a result, the agency has begun to release upstream water from the Flaming Canyon Reservoir in Wyoming and draw water from reservoirs in New Mexico and Colorado. They hope this will prevent the water level of Lake Powell from falling enough to threaten the hydroelectric capacity of the Glen Canyon Dam.

According to reports, later this summer, the agency expects to announce the first federal water restrictions on Arizona, Nevada, and California starting in January 2022. Associated Press Report.

During the last major drought that hit California from 2012 to 2015, the state was able to use the water and electricity supplies in the Pacific Northwest to make up for its shortfalls. But this year’s situation may be even more difficult, as the region is also experiencing a severe drought, triggering out-of-control wildfires and damage to crops.

According to the latest drought monitoring report, on July 18, Washington’s topsoil moisture was rated as 98% “very short to short”-the driest record since the beginning of the 21st century. Washington also caused the country’s pastures and pastures, spring wheat and barley soil conditions to vary from “very poor” to “poor”, while Montana, Arizona, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, and Wyoming also reported similar conditions. Crop drought conditions.

Doug Johnson, spokesperson for the Bonneville Power Authority, said that because of the snow and surface water coming from Canada, the northwestern United States has water to meet its own electricity and irrigation needs, but there is not much extra water to provide electricity to the eight western states. . 31 federal dams and a nuclear power plant. “This is a below-average water use year, so we want to make sure that everyone is focusing on their own settings instead of counting on a surplus,” Johnson said. “This is not something people can rely on. There will be some extra energy, but it depends on the day and the week.”

Last August, California suffered Rolling blackout After the temperature soared and the demand for air-conditioning, all parts of the state. The crisis was blamed on poor planning of public utilities in the state and the worsening effects of climate change. Experts say climate change has caused high temperatures and played a role in droughts. A perfect storm of water scarcity, extreme high temperatures, and surging electricity demand is likely to cause power grids in certain areas to bend or even be interrupted. Jordan Cohen, Assistant Professor of Forestry and Environmental Resources at North Carolina State University, researches on water, electricity and climate change. In the next few weeks, “if the temperature in the west reaches 115 or 120 degrees,” Kern said, “especially in California where everyone uses air conditioning, then they will run out of electricity.”

In the past, utility companies like PG&E Management failures related to power outages, Such as failing to tell customers that power outages are imminent to reduce demand, and relying on electricity from closed factories.This year, the same utility company announced plans last week Bury 10,000 miles of power lines To reduce the risk of wildfires caused by wire sparks.

Kern pointed out that climate change has increased the temperature and exacerbated the effects of drought. “One way to determine if it was a bad summer or the climate is different is to look at what happened in the past,” Kern said. “If you go back to 50 years ago, look at summer temperatures and plot them in a bell-shaped curve, and then plot them this year, this year will exceed the chart.”


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