July 12, 2014--Lake Mead watch: At lowest levels since 1937 (High Country News)

For almost two decades, the white band of mineral deposits circling Arizona’s Lake Mead like a bathtub ring, has grown steadily taller, a sign that America’s largest manmade water source is in deep trouble. This week it fell to its lowest level since 1937, when Hoover Dam was completed and the reservoir filled.

July 3, 2014--Obama administration announces massive climate change funding (Huff Post)

President Obama's new climate change push was reaffirmed on Thursday when the Department of Energy announced that it will make $4 billion in loans available to clean energy projects. In a statement, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said:

Hydropower Production Threatened

According to a February memorandum from the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB), both Lake Powell (of the Upper Colorado Basin) and Lake Mead (of the Lower Colorado Basin) could soon become too low to operate their hydropower plants if conditions don't improve. At the May 14th Southwest Basin Roundtable (SBR) meeting in Cortez, John McClow, Commissioner on the Upper Colorado River Commission, provided an overview of this developing situation on the Colorado River. Water shortages from a persistent drought in the Southwest have left both lakes dangerously low, threatening electric supplies that are relied on by 5.8 million customers.

New DOE Hydropower Study

According to an April 29th Denver Business Journal article, Colorado and other western states are being positioned as ground zero in what appears to be a potential massive new push by the federal government to develop new hydroelectric power capacity in the U.S. That’s the underlying assumption in a new study by the U.S. Department of Energy. The report, New Stream-Reach Development Resource Assessment, by the Energy Department's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, estimates that 65 gigawatts of additional hydropower could be developed nationwide—3.8 gigawatts in Colorado. To put that into perspective, 65 gigawatts of power is roughly equivalent to all the existing hydropower in the U.S. today. In Colorado, 3.8 gigawatts of hydro nearly approaches all of the existing hydroelectric power being generated in the entire Colorado River basin, including Flaming Gorge, Glen Canyon Dam, and Hoover Dam, as well as the Aspinall Unit dams on the Gunnison River.

June 18, 2014--Draining water from SW cities (Outside Online)

Rising temperatures induced by global warming are enhancing a 14-year drought in the Western United States—the worst seen in the region in about 1,250 years. The region's dam system and the 30 million people dependent upon it are paying the price.

May 30, 2014--Doubling hydropower doesn't mean new dams (Denver Business Journal)

A new report from the U.S. Department of Energy about the nation’s ability to double the amount of hydroelectric power it can produce doesn’t mean the Obama Administration wants to embark on a dam-building program, DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz said Friday. Moniz was at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden on Friday to attend the Colorado Energy Form organized by U.S. Sen.

May 26, 2014--The Fabled Hoover Dam – one of the most amazing engineering feats in history (Baltimore Examiner)

It was built in the depths of “The Great Depression,” and dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in September, 1935. Hoover Dam, which straddles the Arizona/Nevada border lines, is one of the greatest engineering feats of the last century. It also cost the lives of 132 workers.

May 25, 2014--Drought diminishes hydroelectric power in Texas as river authorities restrict release of water (Associated Press)

Hydroelectric power in Texas has all but dried up as the state's drought continues, according to a statewide review of generation sources. The amount of hydropower generated across Texas dropped 24 percent from 2012 to 2013, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

May 20, 2014--Water goes 'missing' with snow loss (BBC News)

A new study finds that if temperatures rise and more precipitation falls as rain rather than snow, it will reduce the total amount of water in rivers. It is a surprising observation. One might expect the timing of water flow to change but not the overall volume.

May 17, 2014--Expanding hydropower (New York Times)

“Tear Down ‘Deadbeat’ Dams,” by Yvon Chouinard (Op-Ed, May 8), argues that we should remove dams that no longer serve a public benefit. I agree; there are dams in the United States that are candidates for removal for various reasons.

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