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Drone photos reveal shocking truth of parched California landscape


As the West sinks deeper into drought, climate and water experts are increasingly alarmed by California’s severely withered reservoirs.

Photos of Lake Orville, Lake Folsom, Trinity Lake and Shasta, taken by Times photographer Brian van der Brug using a drone, reveal the harsh reality of the Golden State’s not-so-golden drought.

As of Monday, Lake Shasta – the state’s largest reservoir – contained just 1.57 million acre-feet of water, according to the US Bureau of Reclamation, or about 35% of its capacity. Jeffrey Mount, senior researcher at the California Institute of Public Policy Center for Water Policy, said “everyone should be concerned” with what they see.

“The reservoir levels that we are examining are almost record high, with all the prospects that they will actually be. to be record low by the end of the summer, ”he said. “The mountains are dried up. The sponge is completely dry.

– Lac d’Orville –

The boats are moored in a narrowing arm of Lake Oroville, which is 33% and 40% full of the historical average.

(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Drone photos reveal shocking truth of parched California landscape

A truck crosses the Enterprise Bridge at Lake Oroville.

(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Drone photos reveal shocking truth of parched California landscape

A view of a house set on fire in the 2020 North Complex fire, towards the Enterprise Zone boat launch on Lake Oroville.

(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Drone photos reveal shocking truth of parched California landscape

A boat dock is left high and dry on the shore of Lake Oroville.

(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Many scientists studying the drought in California indicate that 1976-77 is the benchmark for the “worst case scenario”. This drought brought Lake Oroville to its all-time low of 646 feet above sea level.

On Monday, the lake was just over 661 feet above sea level, or 28% of its total capacity, according to the California Department of Water Resources.

Already, the state’s farmers have faced such dry conditions that many have started to fallow fields, pull up vines and trees, and leave land empty that once thrived.

– Lake Folsom –

Drone photos reveal shocking truth of parched California landscape

The lake bed exposed to drought stricken Folsom Lake.

(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Drone photos reveal shocking truth of parched California landscape

A man carries his kayak hundreds of feet to a ramp from the lake shore as water levels drop at Folsom Lake.

(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Drone photos reveal shocking truth of parched California landscape

Boat bilges have washed up on dry land as water levels drop.

(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

The most recent rainy year, which ended in June, was the seventh of Los Angeles’ 144 record years, according to the Golden Gate Weather Service, and the third driest on record in the Sierra region. North.

But officials warned in March that already low snow levels were declining, predicting an extremely dry year for the state. In June, the Department of Water Resources found the statewide snowpack to be a dark 0.1 inch, or 0% of normal.

– Trinity Lake –

Drone photos reveal shocking truth of parched California landscape

This ridge line is normally underwater at Trinity Lake, which is 47% full, below its average for the time of year.

(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Drone photos reveal shocking truth of parched California landscape

A man walks down a dry ramp hundreds of feet from the old waterfront marina on Trinity Lake.

(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Drone photos reveal shocking truth of parched California landscape

Trinity Lake is one of California’s water bodies affected by drought.

(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Drone photos reveal shocking truth of parched California landscape

A barge is out of the water for repairs at Trinity Lake.

(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

– Shasta Lake –

Drone photos reveal shocking truth of parched California landscape

Boats moored in a Shasta Lake marina, hundreds of feet below where they are usually moored.

(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Drone photos reveal shocking truth of parched California landscape

A railway bridge frames an old causeway and a bridge, revealed by the drop in water levels.

(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Drone photos reveal shocking truth of parched California landscape

“Bathtub ring” is glaring evidence of the drop in water level at Lake Shasta.

(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)





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