Calif. has averted blackout disaster. Why we owe it to hydroelectric infrastructure.

The storms battering California in the winter have delivered badly needed relief during the summer heatwave, prompting the need for increased investment in hydroelectric, writes William Bourdeau.

Under the intense summer sun, California is experiencing a heat wave of significant proportions.

However, despite these challenging conditions, we have managed to avert energy disruptions that would typically strain economy and impact our quality of life during the summer months.


Our secret weapon in this struggle? Water. More precisely, the vast quantities of hydroelectricity generated by a wet winter.

Heat waves, with their potential to bring our energy grid to its knees, inciting flex alerts, and even triggering rolling blackouts, are all too familiar to Californians. But this year, the story has unfolded differently. The scorching temperatures have not managed to disrupt the comfortable coolness of our homes, nor slow down our bustling economy.

Flex alerts and rolling blackouts are typically crisis responses aimed at preventing a total blackout when the energy grid is overloaded. However, even in the face of this year’s intense heat wave, California’s energy infrastructure has remained resilient, preserving not just our domestic comfort but also the uninterrupted flow of business operations, thereby protecting jobs.

The unsung hero of this resilience is hydroelectricity. Generated from our abundant water resources, this clean, renewable form of energy has stabilized our energy grid and underpinned our economic continuity. Further, strategic investments in water infrastructure not only assure a reliable water supply – crucial for our thriving agricultural sector and growing communities – but also anchor our energy resilience.

Our energy infrastructure, in its extraordinary adaptability, has proven invaluable during this heat wave. By harnessing the power of hydroelectricity, we have managed to maintain comfortable living conditions in our homes, ensure the smooth operation of businesses, protect jobs, and stimulate economic growth. This flexibility is a testament to the vision and meticulous planning of our water managers and the willingness of our citizen to invest in our future.

As we negotiate the challenges of this heat wave, we must appreciate the pivotal role water plays – it provides the hydroelectricity that keeps our homes cool, our businesses running, and our economy thriving, thereby enhancing our quality of life.

However, this success story should not make us complacent. It’s essential for all Californians to advocate for continued and increased investment in our water and energy infrastructure. These investments are not merely sound policy – they are imperative for a variety of reasons, from ensuring a reliable water supply and generating renewable energy to supporting a thriving economy and improving our quality of life.

Investing in our water and energy infrastructure is a commitment to a more resilient, economically vibrant, and sustainable future. As we celebrate our state’s energy resilience and the absence of flex alerts and blackouts, we should also strive to secure this brighter future. Here’s to a resilient, prosperous, and more sustainable California.

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