California’s continued drought, reduced snowpack mean lower hydropower output

Earlier this month, California Governor Jerry Brown enacted mandatory water restrictions for the first time in the state’s history. While the executive order doesn’t directly address hydropower generation and instead focuses on water use in cities and towns, the drought that began in 2011 has had a noticeable effect on hydropower. Furthermore, reduced levels of snowpack likely mean that hydropower output will be low throughout the summer.

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