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    California Drought Dries Up Hydro, But Power Stays On

    By Josie Garthwaite for National Geographic
    3/13/2014 1:05:30 PM

    The following is an excerpt from National Geographic:

    California's record drought has parched crops, but hasn't yet dimmed lights or choked the flow of electricity, even though the Golden State, with more than 300 dams, has long been a hydroelectricity leader among U.S. states.

    California's hydro plants generated less power in 2013 than they had in 21 years, but the state's water crisis hasn't turned into an energy crisis, thanks to a mix of renewable energy, natural gas, and planning. (Take related Quiz: What You Don't Know About Energy and Water.)

    Folsom Lake, a hydroelectric reservoir in California's Central Valley, was so dry in January a visitor could walk in its bed. Recent rains have helped, but Folsom was still at 39 percent capacity in March. Photograph by Robert Galbraith, Reuters

    "From an electricity generation and reliability standpoint, the drought isn't going to have a major impact," said Edward Randolph, director of the energy division of the California Public Utilities Commission. "There [are] ample resources to meet demand.

    Continue Reading on NationalGeographic.com >