Water Safety: Reservoirs and waterways are a great source of clean energy and summer fun. Ensure your visits are safe.

Enjoy Swimming, Picnicking, Hiking and More

Our hydropower system—one of the largest in the country—provides clean, renewable energy and a variety of recreation opportunities. There are reservoirs, dams, rivers, and streams for swimming, fishing and boating, as well as campgrounds, picnic areas, boat launches and trails for the public to enjoy. Before visiting any of these recreation sites this summer, take a moment to learn about hydropower and how to be safe when recreating near a facility.

Hydropower: A Clean, Renewable Source of Energy

Feeder Lakers and Streams --> Storage Reservoir --> Dam --> canal, flumes, tunnel, natural waterway --> header box, valve house --> penstock --> powerhouse --> switchyard --> afterbay --> afterbay dam

Hydropower is produced by the movement of water rushing from a higher elevation to a lower elevation, which turns a turbine and creates electricity. Dams are used to hold back the water in order to create reservoirs. Water moves from these reservoirs to powerhouses by way of waterways, such as rivers and streams. Once at a powerhouse, the water generates electricity, which is then transported to the power grid. The system has the potential for large amounts of rushing water to be present at any given time, sometimes without warning, so it's important to use caution and learn to recognize warning signs.

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Fast Facts About Hydropower

    • PG&E’s hydroelectric system is built along 16 river basins stretching nearly 500 miles from Redding in the north to Bakersfield in the south.
    • Water used to power the hydroelectric system comes from more than 98 reservoirs located mostly in the higher elevations of California's Sierra Nevada mountain range.
    • Our 67 powerhouses have a total generating capacity of 3,900 megawatts, which is enough power to meet the needs of nearly 4 million homes.

Other Resources

  • Canal Dangers
    Canals are designed to move vast amounts of water quickly, making them very dangerous for swimming and other types of recreation.
    Download Brochure (PDF)

    PG&E Campgrounds and Picnic Areas
    Our recreational facilities are ready for you to use and enjoy.
    Learn More »
  • Next Century Of Energy
  • Business Rebates
  • Federal government agencies incentives