California is currently dealing with what could be its worst drought in 500 years, and the effects could be devastating.
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.
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.
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.
7. Bay Area reservoirs are drying up at alarming rates.
8. Reservoir storage is at record lows.
9. With some reservoirs filled to only 18 percent capacity, once covered shores are now exposed.
10. Without precipitation to flush out toxicity, L.A.’s air quality is worsening.
11. California could lose $5 billion in agricultural profit this year.
12. Many agriculture-based towns are bracing for large spikes in unemployment.
Some of these towns are already experiencing up to 40% unemployment rates.