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Hydropower Suffering from Droughts

Drought: The news has been full of it.

Fish are disappearing from markets from Zimbabwe to Vietnam because of it. Kenyan barristas are making "camelcinos" because drought has made cow milk scarce. And in India, men from some villages are even finding it hard to get wives because the water shortage makes them look like a bad bet.

Across Asia, Africa and Latin America, the rains are not falling – they’re failing.

Drought has always happened; the climate is naturally variable to some degree. But researchers have long predicted that climate change would increase the extremes and frequency of drought, and the evidence suggests this is happening now.

But drought is no longer just a concern for farmers; it’s increasingly becoming a major humanitarian and political issue, particularly in hydropower-dependent countries.

Long considered a renewable (which is a subject of hot debate) and regarded as less variable than wind and solar, hydropower is now looking distinctly vulnerable as reservoirs dry up and electricity generation drops.

Peter Rood

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