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Posts Tagged ‘hydroelectric’

Mega Drought Plagues Brazil’s Most Populous Region

Posted by feww on January 24, 2015

DISASTERS CAUSED BY RAPID CLIMATE CHANGE
EXTREME WEATHER
MEGA DROUGHT
CROP DISASTERS
WATER FAMINE
SCENARIOS 900, [500,] 444, 219, 117, 111, 100, 090, 067, 03, 02
.

Rio de Janeiro state experiencing “the worst water crisis in its history” —Environment Minister

The states of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais facing “worrying” water crisis and must save water, according to Brazil’s Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira speaking in an emergency meeting in the capital, Brasilia.

“Since records for Brazil’s south-eastern region began 84 years ago we have never seen such a delicate and worrying situation,” she said.

In Rio de Janeiro state, the main water reservoir is empty for the first time since it was built, said the country’s Environment Secretary, acknowledging that the state faces “the worst water crisis in its history,” said a report.

Rising temperatures and diminishing rainfall have forced authorities to impose rationing in the worst affected areas, amid rolling power cuts, which are affecting up to five million people.

Minas Gerais saw a total of just 900mm of rain in 2014, less half the yearly average, severely affecting coffee beans production.

Rainfall Totals & Anomaly Patterns:Last 30 Days

percp anom brazil dec2014-jan2015
During the last 30 days, below-average precipitation was observed over most of the Amazon Basin, and all of central and southeastern Brazil. Above-average precipitation was observed over southern Colombia, northern Peru, northeastern Argentina, Uruguay, and southern Brazil. Source: cpc/ncep/noaa

About 100 cities have imposed rationing, as water levels in 17 of the country’s 18 largest reservoirs fall below levels experienced during the last water crisis in 2001, said reports.

Water levels at the Cantareira system, a huge reservoir that provides water to about 22 million people in Sao Paulo and surrounding areas, have fallen to about 5 percent of the capacity, severely affecting hydroelectric generation, which provides up to 72 percent of the county’s electricity.

Rolling blackouts are hitting about a dozen cities amid high demand for refrigeration and air conditioning, as the daily temperatures soar above 35°C.

The national grid operator ONS cut power to Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and several other major Brazilian cities last week, paralyzing the subway systems, said a report.

“Scientists have linked the shortage in rainfall to deforestation in the Amazon, which has led to higher temperatures and lower precipitation across much of Brazil. Ironically, much of the deforestation is driven by the agricultural sector, which is now also suffering under the extensive drought.”

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State of Emergency Declared for SF due to RIM FIRE

Posted by feww on August 24, 2013

Rim Fire an “imminent threat to critical infrastructure assets”; Gov declares State of Emergency for SF

The ferocious wildfire that began on August 17 and has been burning out of control in Tuolumne County forced California Gov. Brown to declare a state of emergency 190 miles away in San Francisco late Friday.

The governor said he declared the emergency due to the damage  caused to electrical infrastructure serving the City and County of San Francisco.

Rim Fire had consumed about 126,000 acres (470 km²), as of Saturday, 24 August 2013 @ 05:00UTC, and the blaze continued to grow explosively, as it crossed into Yosemite National Park, burning at least 11,000 acres there.

San Francisco was forced to shut down two of its three hydroelectric power stations in the area due to the fire, according to local reports.

The City gets about 85 percent of its water from Hetch Hetchy reservoir in the Yosemite area, just 3 miles from the current fire boundary.

Highlights of the Governor’s Proclamation

The wildfires that started in Tuolumne County have caused damage to electrical infrastructure serving the City and County of San Francisco, and now threaten damage to property, equipment, and resources of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, said  Calif. Governor Brown in his state of emergency proclamation for the City and County of San Francisco.

As a result, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has been forced to shut down transmission lines with the result that the City and County is affected by the wildfires in the County of Tuolumne and is likely to be further affected should the fire cause additional damage to the City and County of San Francisco’s water and electrical assets in Tuolumne County, including the possible temporary interruption of electricity and/or water delivery.

Due to the imminent threat to critical infrastructure assets, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission declared an emergency, and the City and County of San Francisco declared a local emergency and requested that I proclaim a state of emergency …, said Gov Brown as he signed the Proclamation, declaring a state of emergency in the City and County of San Francisco.

rim fire 061s
Rim Fire Photo 6. Photo credit: Stanislaus National Forest/USFS.

The massive fire has so far destroyed at least four homes and a dozen outbuildings in different areas, and was threatening more than 5,500 residences, said the USFS.

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Fish Ecosystem on Yangtze Collapsing

Posted by feww on August 17, 2013

Yangtze River has lost 99.7% of its fish

Excessive human activity along the Yangtze River including the building of hydroelectric dams and overfishing has pushed the aquatic ecosystem to the verge of imminent collapse: Report

“The number of fish in four major species has shrunk from more than 30 billion in the 1950s to less than 100 million, and the number of breeds has been reduced from 143 to 17, according to the report released by the Yangtze River Fishery Resources Committee under the Ministry of Agriculture and the World Wide Fund for Nature,” said the report.

Landscape changes along  banks of the Chishui River
Original caption: Landscape changes since 2005 along the banks of the Chishui River, a tributary of the Yangtze River, suggest the grave effects of human activity on the ecosystem of China’s longest river. [PHOTO BY WANG LEI / FOR CHINA DAILY]

In addition to the dramatic decline  in the number of fish, several other species including the finless porpoise have already become extinct, said Zhao Yimin, head of the Yangtze River Fishery Resources Committee.

“The source species are reducing, leading to unsustainable development of aquaculture and an increasingly fragile ecosystem.” Zhao said.

Some 25 hydropower plants are being built 100 km apart along the 2,308 km on the Jinsha River, a tributary of the Yangtze,  with a total capacity four times the Three Gorges Dam, according to China’s energy development plan,

“It will cut the river into sections, and completely change the aquatic environment, bringing a devastating impact to species and water quality,” Zhao said.

The Yangtze River basin covers 19 provinces and cities, accounting for 18.8 percent of the land area in China, said the report.

Full report posted HERE.

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