CLAUDE ROUGERIE / iStock.com
Lake Powell, a major source of electricity in the western states, is sinking dangerously close to a level where it can no longer continue to supply hydroelectric power. The lake currently sits at a dip of 3,525 feet. This is the lowest lake level since the government built the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River in Arizona in 1966.
Learn: Unplug those appliances that are driving up your electric bill
Explore: Thinking of buying an electric car as gas prices rise? These are the best and worst states for electric vehicles
Meanwhile, Glen Canyon Dam, which separates Lake Powell and its downstream counterpart, Lake Mead, sits just 35 feet above the “minimum energy pool,” or minimum water level. at which the turbines can generate hydroelectric power. If Lake Powell dips much lower, it will stop flowing through the dam and the hydroelectric turbines will shut down.
While locals have generally focused their environmental concerns on water shortages, the rate at which water levels in Lake Powell and Lake Mead are dropping has taken experts by surprise. “We were clearly not sufficiently prepared for the need to act so quickly,” John Fleck, director of the University of New Mexico’s water resources program, told MSN.
Experts also believe that water runoff from the Rocky Mountains once the snow begins to melt should make up for the deficit, but that’s only a temporary fix. The Glen Canyon Dam hydroelectric systems provide electricity to approximately five million customers in Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.
Without access to this clean and affordable source of energy, electricity providers in these states would have to turn to other sources. And with oil and natural gas prices already high due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, consumers in those states could face higher electricity bills just in time for warmer weather. , resulting in higher electrical usage with air conditioners and pool filters running to keep residents in warmer states cool and comfortable.
Whatever the future, learn tips for saving on your electricity bills this summer.
More from GOBankingRates