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Dry Times x 2
A deeper dive into Glen Canyon Dam Data ~ the land desk
|Jonathan P. ThompsonMay 28|
In response to Wednesday’s dispatch on hydropower waning across the Southwest as a result of the drought, dedicated Land Desk reader Jerry Zink pointed out that the Lake Powell surface-elevation graph was fine and good, but was less representative than a graph showing how many acre-feet of water are in the reservoir. He also noted that as the amount of water in the reservoir drops, so too does the generating capacity of the power plant in the dam (because water pressure drops, too).
Knowing a challenge when I saw one, I dived down the rabbit hole and came up with a few more graphs for y’all to ponder. So here you go:
So, basically, this just reinforces the concern I expressed in the last post: Warming temperatures, dry times, and dropping stream and reservoir levels are diminishing the output from Southwestern hydroelectricity dams. And it’s happening just when that power is badly needed due to increased demand and the shutdown of some big coal power plants around the region in recent years.
It should be an interesting summer, power-grid-wise. We’ll be keeping you up to date.