It is so dry in California right now that lake beds and rivers turn to dust

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Verdant hillsides losing their hue, receding reservoirs with bathtub rings of newly exposed earth, crops withering in the fields.

These are the visions of California’s parched landscape as the state braces for another potentially devastating drought. Water shortages and exceptionally dry conditions are already beginning to hit home.

San Gabriel reservoir lakebed.
San Gabriel reservoir lakebed. Photograph: David McNew

The state is facing yet another hot, dry summer ahead, and the governor has declared a drought emergency in 41 of the state’s 58 counties. More than 37 million Californians reside in these drought areas, according to the US drought monitor.

“This is without precedent,” Newsom said at a news conference announcing the first two declarations in April, speaking from the bed of Lake Mendocino that had been reduced to arid, cracked clay. Not long ago, he would have been standing under 40ft of water. “Oftentimes we overstate the word historic, but this is indeed an historic moment.”
Governor Gavin Newsom holds a news conference in the parched basin of Lake Mendocino in Ukiah.
Governor Gavin Newsom holds a news conference in the parched basin of Lake Mendocino in Ukiah. Photograph: Kent Porter
Governor Gavin Newsom holds a news conference in the parched basin of Lake Mendocino in Ukiah.
Governor Gavin Newsom holds a news conference in the parched basin of Lake Mendocino in Ukiah. Photograph: Kent Porter
A child walks across the parched bottom of Lake Mendocino.
A child walks across the parched bottom of Lake Mendocino. Photograph: Justin Sullivan

Many of the state’s reservoirs are at extremely low capacity and levels are expected to drop further in the coming months. Already, the state’s 154 major reservoirs are collectively at 71% of where they typically are on average. Federal climate analysts with the National Integrated Drought Information System called the outlook for California’s reservoir levels recovery “grim” in their most recent report.

Water levels at Lake Oroville have dropped to 39% of capacity.
Water levels at Lake Oroville have dropped to 39% of capacity. Photograph: Justin Sullivan
Water levels at Lake Oroville have dropped to 42% of capacity.
Water levels at Lake Oroville have dropped to 42% of capacity. Photograph: Justin Sullivan
Houseboats in Lake Oroville are dwarfed by the exposed banks.
Houseboats in Lake Oroville are dwarfed by the exposed banks. Photograph: Justin Sullivan

The dry conditions are expected to fuel another potentially devastating and record-breaking wildfire season. In 2020, roughly 4.1m acres were consumed by the flames, tens of thousands of buildings burned and 31 people lost their lives.

These conditions only began to develop in May of last year, according to federal monitoring systems. But now into a second consecutive dry year – characterized by a hot summer and little rainfall to replenish the dehydrated landscape through the winter months – by mid-May this year 93% of the south-west and California was in drought, with 38% of the region classified at the highest level.

“It really stands out how rapidly this drought has developed and intensified,” said Brian Fuchs, a climatologist, during a webinar this week hosted by the NIDIC.

Northern California’s reservoirs, which heavily depend on the rapidly disappearing mountain snowmelt, have been among the hardest hit. Lake Shasta and Lake Oroville, two of the largest, have fallen to 44% and 39% of their total capacity respectively. Inflow into Lake Shasta is even lower than it was in 2014.

The California Department of Water Resources reduced the water allocation for farmers and growers, leading many to remove water-dependent crops.
The California Department of Water Resources reduced the water allocation for farmers and growers, leading many to remove water-dependent crops. Photograph: Justin Sullivan
A sign in Buttonwillow, Kern county.
A sign in Buttonwillow, Kern county. Photograph: Frederic J Brown/AFP/Getty Images

To prepare for declining reserves, the California Department of Water Resources reduced farmers and growers to 5% of their expected water allocation in March. The move sparked an outcry from California’s agricultural belt, which is likely to be hit hard by the drought.

During the last drought, between 2014 and 2016, the agriculture industry lost roughly $3.8bn, and more than half a million acres couldn’t produce for lack of water. Farmers and ranchers have already begun to cull crops, fallow fields, and thin their herds in preparation.

Officials have also had to step in to help salmon raised in the state’s central valley region reach the Pacific Ocean, as waterways grow too shallow and warm for them to safely make the journey. Tens of millions of young fish will instead be trucked out to sites across the coast.

The drought-stricken American River is too warm for salmon to travel to the Pacific Ocean.
The drought-stricken American River is too warm for salmon to travel to the Pacific Ocean. Photograph: Nina Riggio
With rivers like the American River growing too warm and shallow for fish to reach the ocean, juvenile Chinook salmon will be transported by truck.
With rivers like the American River growing too warm and shallow for fish to reach the ocean, juvenile Chinook salmon will be transported by truck. Photograph: Nina Riggio
Boat docks sit on dry land at Folsom Lake in El Dorado Hills.
Boat docks sit on dry land at Folsom Lake in El Dorado Hills. Photograph: Justin Sullivan

Drought has always played a part in California’s climate, and it’s not unusual for the region to see periods of dry years interspersed with wetter ones. But, rising temperatures are fueling deeper extremes and climate scientists believe the cycle will only intensify.

With only a short two-year reprieve since the state was declared drought-free – after the period between 2012 and 2015 became the driest four-year period recorded – the negative impact that dry conditions had across the state are still fresh in residents’ minds.

A park visitor runs on the dry Folsom Lake bottom in Granite Bay.
A park visitor runs on the dry Folsom Lake bottom in Granite Bay. Photograph: Justin Sullivan
A resident fills a water tank with recycled water from a fill station in Oakley.
A resident fills a water tank with recycled water from a fill station in Oakley. Photograph: Justin Sullivan

In an attempt to mitigate some of the expected impacts, Newsom has earmarked $5.1bn over four years for water infrastructure and drought response. The state is also hoping to apply key lessons learned through the last drought period, including establishing new standards of use for water, increasing efficiency requirements, and assessing and intervening when water systems fail. Still, as conditions worsen, the state will continue to call on residents to adapt.

“It’s time for Californians to pull together once again to save water,” said California Natural Resources Agency Secretary Wade Crowfoot in a statement issued with the emergency declaration. Encouraging shorter showers and limiting wasted water during every-day activities like dishwashing and teeth brushing, he added, “all of us need to find every opportunity to save water where we can”.

Marin county became the first county to impose mandatory water-use restrictions on 1 May.
Marin county became the first county to impose mandatory water-use restrictions on 1 May. Photograph: Justin SullivanThe situation is out-of control in California right now… Fire seasons arrive next… [Guardian]

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37 COMMENTS

  1. Decades of Climate Engineering programs, spraying away -destroying entire web of life. Watch Dane Wigington’s vast body of work . Latest film “The Dimming” , watch free (2 hrs ) on his site http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org. Evidence, proof, facts, data, film footage, senate documents, patents, whistleblowers, etc. Each week he has 55 min radio “Global Alert News” as well. Stunning , and yes for depopulation Agenda. All resources / eco in full collapse. Ozone, UV rays and under reported temps. Artic melt. ocean rise. West coast to burn again, as all conditions in place. Again.

  2. They US military could make monsoons in non monsoon season in the 60s, but they cannot do it today because it is not in the plan.

  3. Southern California has always been a arid semi-desert and without taking water from rivers and aquifers that feed other areas of the west, it will return to its semidesert status.

  4. Chemtrails are taking the moisture out of the air… So, it’s weather modification that’s been changing the climate…

  5. Leftists want Commiefornia’s environment to be “au naturel”–left just the way nature made it. Well, Leftists, guess what? Nature made it a DESERT. Only with massive efforts in building water reservoirs and utilizing aquifers more efficiently to conserve water is it even possible to live there. Then–when you demand ever-higher population increases by inviting illegal aliens into your “open border” state, but don’t expand water resources to match that expanded water consumption–you WILL have water shortages. This is Leftists getting what Leftists deserve due to Leftist policies that Leftists support!

  6. Manufactured crisis?

    Why haven’t respectable golden state residents recalled that buttclown yet?

    Yes, we have narcissistic psychopaths running our country into the ground—at every level and facet of our government. Rinos and lefties! All the same con artists!

    Votes don’t matter!
    All elections are rigged too. President Trump won!

      • John Henry,
        You’re a Shill with no standing. If you can show proof its tin foil bull then prove it. All I see is you saying that tin foil “BAD”.
        You my man are stunted and lame. Do you run this blog? If you do you lost control long-ago.

      • All the dams and lakes under discussion….every one of them….have been opened to increased flow since 2017. Some over 50% increased flow. Flow increases at these amounts are very hard to notice, but they do drain the lakes much faster. Remember the record rainfall of 2017. Orville dam nearly failed. Every lake was filled. Yet 4 years later suddenly everything is bone dry…and it’s not like we got no rain at all over the last 4 years because we did. What we had was waisted and the lakes were meant to become dry.
        If you’ll remember, during Brown’s final months he signed into law mandatory and permanent water restrictions. These go into effect starting this year and will be phased in over the next few years…along with new taxes…on water.
        Feel free to look this up. The information is there for all to see.

      • Nonsense J.H.
        Out for your daily troll no doubt. Not very apt. Probably a simp lefty buttclown with dickwarts in your throat.

  7. The salmon have loved the water. The lakes were above normal 2 years ago and have been drained by dumping water from these lakes into the ocean for the benefit of the salmon. Word is they are still dumping into the ocean. You have some really incompetent leaders in California, I cannot believe the people continue to put up with this insanity.

    • Dumping river water into the ocean is for smelt, not salmon. And it’s the federal government, not the state government that mandates it.

      We need water projects much more than a high speed train to nowhere.

  8. This was prophesied in Isaiah. This is from the Gileadi translation.

    19:4 Then will I deliver the Egyptians into the hand of a cruel master; a harsh ruler will subject them, says the Lord, Jehovah of Hosts.
    19:5–7 The waters of the lakes shall ebb away as stream beds become desolate and dry. The rivers shall turn foul, and Egypt’s waterways recede and dry up. Reeds and rushes shall wither; vegetation adjoining canals and estuaries, and all things sown along irrigation channels, shall shrivel and blow away and be no more.

    “Egypt” was the only superpower at the time of Isaiah and he uses that country to represent the major superpower in the world today. Even though the drought is manmade, God uses the wicked to punish the wicked.

  9. A “hot, dry summer” as if that’s unusual in so cal. We are not in a drought, I’m 58 and have been in so cal all my life….it’s NEVER rained much here! Every 4-8 years, you get a good El Niño system and the drought doom sayers all shut up for 8 months. Summer is ALWAYS hot and dry here; it’s scrubland and always has been. You know why it’s scrubland? BECAUSE IT SELDOM RAINS! It’s a semi-arid environment, always has been, always will be. The problem is the government morons are emptying the lakes. These days, you can’t hide information; it ALWAYS gets out. This nonsense is just that. The lakes were full to capacity 4 months ago. In North San Diego County, we’ve got rain every month , just not a lot. Because, once again, it’s a semi arid region. All the big lakes don’t run dry in four months….unless they are being emptied to creat a crisis.

    • You bring up a great point. Another reason why you are without water is corporations are selling it via bottled water. I actually called the governor’s office and asked them why you are telling folks to ration water while allowing corporations to sell it via bottle water. Crickets was all I heard. Its a scam on the people of CA.

    • Maybe the problem is actually morons like Angus Frazier who are LIVING IN SCRUBLAND. You can only take so much water before you self-defeat your living arrangements. But I’m glad your there and not here.

  10. CA reservoirs were designed to provide a steady five year supply for all users, and were FILLED TO THE TOP in June 2019. https:// californiaglobe.com/section-2/ca-reservoirs-filled-to-top-in-2019-being-drained-by-state/ ,,,,,

  11. i have a solution to this man made drought! use the ocean water remove the salt , sell sea salt sell water!

    • It would really jack up water costs big time. Hey if people are willing to pay 10x the cost for water, maybe it is a good solution. Having responsible leaders would be my preference.

    • Yes, but the ultra rich beach property owners would scream bloody murder over desalinization plants, whilst they dine on babies, champagne, and caviar.

  12. Every time there’s a chance of rain in CA planes chemtrail the sky’s and every time there’s no rain as a result. Keep living in denial to what they’re doing. What’s the reason for these chemtrails? It’s not like its not obvious!

    • The real reason for chemtrails: Go to cosmicconvergence dot org/?p=29174…Many subjects there about ALL the problems concerning the planet…scroll down to find what you want to know.

  13. Newsom is not looking for solutions, only angles. How can he get his hands on more of your money is his prime concern.

  14. THIS IS THE CURE….DESALT THE OCEAN WATER AND PUMP IT INTO LARGE LAKES AND QUIT SPENDING TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS ON FAKE WARS, DOPE, BOOZE, AND GOING TO THE MOON AND OTHER CRAZY SHIT! ISRAEL REMOVES THE SALT FROM THE OCEAN AND HAS PLENTY OF WATER. WAKE THE HELL UP BRAIN WASHED SLAVES. THE NWO WANTS THESE MAN MADE DROUGHTS, VIRUSES AND FAKE WARS AND ALL THIS HATE AND MURDER OF BABIES IN ABORTIONS…IT IS SATANIC AND EVIL!

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