Drought cuts power production of California dams

Shasta Dam, looming more than 600 feet tall and gatekeeper of the largest man-made lake in California, was designed to perform two crucial functions: Store water and generate power.

And for decades, the massive concrete structure has channeled water to cities and farms while generating up to 710 megawatts of hydropower, enough to provide electricity for more than 532,000 homes.

But amid four years of drought, the reservoir is drained to 50% of capacity, cutting the dam’s power production by about a third, according to federal reclamation officials. Continue reading