18 Things You Need To Know About California’s Worst Drought In Centuries

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California is currently dealing with what could be its worst drought in 500 years, and the effects could be devastating.

NASA / NOAA

This satellite image shows the severity of the drought.

1. Gov. Jerry Brown has officially declared the current drought a State of Emergency, and is encouraging people to reduce their water use by 20% this year.

2. In order to conserve water, officials announced they wouldn’t be sending reservoir water to agencies across the state this spring.

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images News / Getty Images

This car was found at the bottom of the Alamedan Reservoir.

3. Some rural communities are in danger of losing their water supply within 120 days.

4. Rainfall has dramatically decreased over the past year.

Some areas are receiving only 20% of normal precipitation.

5. Because of dry weather, firefighters responded to over 400 fires this past January.

Jonathan Alcorn / Getty Images News / Getty Images

To put this into perspective, the last five Januaries combined yielded only 69 fires, and there were no fires in January 2013.

6. Cal Fire has hired 125 more firefighters to deal with the increasing number of fires.

Dan R. Krauss / Getty Images News / Getty Images

7. Bay Area reservoirs are drying up at alarming rates.

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images News / Getty Images

8. Reservoir storage is at record lows.

David McNew / Getty Images News / Getty Images

9. With some reservoirs filled to only 18 percent capacity, once covered shores are now exposed.

David McNew / Getty Images News / Getty Images

10. Without precipitation to flush out toxicity, L.A.’s air quality is worsening.

Dan R. Krauss / Getty Images News / Getty Images

11. California could lose $5 billion in agricultural profit this year.

John Moore / Getty Images News / Getty Images

12. Many agriculture-based towns are bracing for large spikes in unemployment.

AP Photo / Scott Smith

Some of these towns are already experiencing up to 40% unemployment rates.

13. Farmers across the state are projected to leave up to 500,000 acres of farmland unplanted.

14. Ranchers are selling cattle due to limited resources and cost of feeding them.

AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez

15. Many places have banned fishing in an effort to protect salmon and trout from becoming endangered.

Robert Galbraith / Reuters

16. Medicinal marijuana farmers may soon encounter problems since each plant requires six gallons of water per day.

David McNew / Getty Images News / Getty Images

17. In order to preserve water, some cities are laying down artificial grass.

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images News / Getty Images

18. Farmers across the state are praying for rain.

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