U.S. power grid at risk as country enters storm season

Power Grid Failure Threatens Much of the US–Are You Prepared?

According to experts, the U.S. may experience power grid failure as the country enters the 2022 storm season. Electrical power demands already strain much of the grid due to high heat and drought conditions in the west and mid-west.

Summer Electrical Grid Reliability Risk
Much of US electrical grid at risk of failure as 2022 storm season looms

U.S. Utility Infrastructures are Fragile

We often hear that the U.S. has an aging and fragile utility infrastructure. Much of the public water systems are decades old. Many are not designed for the population growth they must now support.

Our electrical grid has similar shortfalls and some that are self-induced. Key findings of the NERC 2022 Summer Reliability Assessment that may contribute to power grid failure include:

  • Midcontinent ISO (MISO) faces a capacity shortfall in its North and Central areas, resulting in high risk of energy emergencies during peak summer conditions.
    • At the start of the summer, a key transmission line connecting MISO’s northern and southern areas will be out of service.
    • Drought conditions create heightened reliability risk for the summer.
    • Widespread drought and below-normal snowpack affect energy output from hydro generators throughout most of the Western United States.
    • Coal-fired generator owners (GOs) are having difficulty obtaining fuel and non-fuel consumables as supply chains are stressed.
    • Unexpected tripping of solar photovoltaic (PV) resources during grid disturbances continues to be a reliability concern.
    • The electricity and other critical infrastructure sectors face cyber security threats from Russia and other potential actors amid heightened geopolitical tensions in addition to ongoing cyber risks.

Electricity Impacts Public and Private Water Systems

Electricity is critical to both public water systems and private water wells. The 2021 winter storm that hit the deep south showed how extensive and protracted loss of power also impacts public water systems. Many families who had never been without water were so for days and weeks. Families with homes on water wells know how power grid failures impact their water. Loss of water due to power grid failure was new to many on public water systems in the south.

We take the availability of water for granted and don’t pay much attention to how it gets to our home under pressure. Public water systems pump water to towers with electrical water pumps. These towers then provide water under pressure to homes and businesses. Electrical pumps replenish the water in the towers maintaining a steady flow and pressure in your home or business. Most water towers store about 24 hours of water. Power grid failures can challenge replenishing the water supply and providing water to your home or business.

Many water supplies are low

Every day, we hear of low water levels in many of the key U.S water reservoirs. This has been the case in western states for several years. It is getting much worse. This year, severe and extreme drought conditions exist much earlier. Experts predict drought conditions will move further east and worsen.

NOAA 2022 Hurricane Season Projection
2022 Hurricane Season again projected to be above average

Hurricane Season 2022 Projected “Above Average”

Storm experts again project an “above average” storm season in 2022. While we hope this is a case of Chicken Little crying “The sky is falling!”, hope is not a strategy. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts 14-21 named storms and 6-10 hurricanes. Given the wild winter and spring weather the U.S. had, this should not surprise anyone. The climate is changing, and weather extremes appear more common.

Hurricanes obviously impact coastal communities, but also create significant threats well inland. After high winds and storm surge on the coast, hurricanes moving inland and often spawn huge flooding events. These inland storms also bring high winds that damage power lines. Damage to power generation facilities will also contribute to power grid failure.

Show the dependence of elder on the help of others
Our aging-in-place parents may be at risk while seeking during extended power and water outages

Our Population is Aging as Well–Are They Prepared?

Not only is our electrical infrastructure aging, our population is aging as well. In 2019, some 16.5% of the U.S. population 65 years old or over; and is expected to reach 22% by 2050. More of our seniors (75%) would opt to “age in place“–stay in their homes for as long as they can Their next preference is to live with their children. Whether in their own homes or living with others, our elderly loved ones are at additional risk during power grid failure and water outages . Help your elderly loved ones prepare for extended power grid failure and water outages.

Constant Water Customers are Prepared

Constant Water systems are battery-powered, whole-house emergency water systems that provide potable water throughout your home or business during “water out” conditions. Our systems provide critical back up for all conditions that can cause water loss. Our “in-line” storage tanks ensure you always have a known supply of fresh potable water available when the water goes out.

Constant Water customers know the importance of potable water during a crisis–for them, their families, or their elderly loved ones. For more information about Constant Water whole-house emergency water systems, CONTACT US.

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