California is going to start affecting the state's ability to generate hydropower as a result of the megadry. CNN reported that this could raise energy costs for residents.
The summer will be difficult. If California were not in a dry spell, hydropower would make up only 8% of the state's total power generation. Natural gas will be used to fill the gap left by hydropower.
There are a lot of hydroelectric facilities. They need moving water to create power, which is why they are near bodies of water. The electricity is created by pushing a blade in a turbine from the water. Most of the facilities are close to a dam.
Residents in South California were asked to reduce their water usage in order to stop the water levels from going down. In March, after being asked to cut back, water usage went up about 19%. Water providers are fined for violating the law.
The U.S. Southwest has had a dry winter, which means less water in the nearby lakes. The region has experienced a number of disasters in the past 1000 years. The largest water storage in California was low. In May, Lake Oroville was at 45% of its usual capacity, and the lowest level of the lake has been in 37 years.
California's energy concerns will likely continue into the summer as the dry spell continues.
The dramatic rock slide on Memorial Day may have been caused by the low water levels at Lake Powell. Lake Powell is close to dipping below the minimum depth needed to generate hydropower and federal officials have recently opted for extreme measures.