Hydroelectric Energy at Hoover Dam Affected by U.S. Drought

Drought at Lake Mead

Decreasing water levels in Lake Mead near Hoover Dam (Photo courtesy Chris Richards, Creative Commons)

The record temperatures and drought of 2012 have created challenges for not only farmers, but now energy managers seeking to maintain current levels of hydroelectric power with less water. 

See the article from the Washington Post’s Juliet Eilperin HERE

Warmer and drier summers mean less water is available to cool nuclear and fossil-fuel power plants. The Millstone nuclear plant in Waterford, Conn., had to shut down one of its reactors in mid-August because the water it drew from the Long Island Sound was too warm to cool critical equipment outside the core. A twin-unit nuclear plant in Braidwood, Ill., needed to get special permission to continue operating this summer because the temperature in its cooling-water pond rose to 102 degrees, four degrees above its normal limit; another Midwestern plant stopped operating temporarily because its water-intake pipes ended up on dry ground from the prolonged drought,” said the September 9 article. 

View the photo gallery showing the Hoover Dam’s decreasing water level.