When water rushes through California’s hydroelectric dams, it creates power.
Problem is that didn’t happen during the historic drought that gripped the state.
Oakland-based nonprofit Pacific Institute says that drop increased the cost of electricity by nearly $2.5 billion between 2012 and 2016. That amounts to about $12 a year on people’s power bills.
And without that clean energy source, utility agencies used more natural gas, increasing smog and greenhouse gases.
A January study by the Pacific Institute also pointed to higher water costs as providers tried to make up for the fact that people were using less water.
Also, many families incurred additional costs, buying more efficient appliances and low-flow attachments, and replacing landscaping.