California's Water Shortage

A water shortage seems likely to compound the state's crippling electricity shortage.
February 10, 2001, 7am PST | California 2000
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California may soon have both an energy crisis and a water crisis to address. So far this winter, statewide precipitation levels are lower than at any time since 1994, and the situation does not appear to be improving. This year's dry winter is causing additional concerns for state officials who have been concentrating on the energy crisis, since hydropower, which uses water to fuel turbines and powerhouses to produce electricity, provides California with approximately one-fourth of its electricity. Additionally, pumping water from groundwater basins uses even more of California's precious energy resources. State officials say that, with extra electricity being used for groundwater overpumping, a dry summer could double the predicted electricity shortfall of 3000 megawatts. As state-allocated water supplies are tightening, officials expect farms and cities to utilize groundwater resources. In the meantime, officials are praying for rain and encouraging citizens to conserve.

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Published on Monday, October 3, 2005 in San Jose Mercury News
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