California’s Drought: What Losing 63 Trillion Gallons Of Water Looks Like

Washington Post Articel Image by Justin Sullivan:Getty Images

The Enterprise Bridge passes over a section of Lake Oroville that is nearly dry on Aug. 19 in Oroville, CA

A new study says that California’s drought is so severe it’s causing the ground to rise. Angela Fritz of The Washington Post reported scientists estimate 63 trillion gallons of water have been lost in the past 18 months.

What happens when 63 trillion gallons of water disappear? “As it turns out, 63 trillion gallons of water is pretty heavy,” Fritz wrote. ” … That incredible water deficit weighs nearly 240 billion tons, and as it evaporated, the ground began to shift” — in California’s mountains, by as much as half-an-inch.

What about California’s water supply? The Los Angeles Times reported California’s three largest reservoirs are at roughly 30 percent capacity. Other reservoirs are doing better — far better than the statewide average of 41 percent in 1997, when a devastating drought struck the state, said Ted Thomas, spokesman for the California Department of Water Resources.

As of last week Lake Oroville, one of California’s largest reservoirs, was at only 32 percent of its capacity. That’s pretty close to a record low.

Lake Oroville Between 2011 & 2014

The Photographs Below Show The Stark Difference

At Lake Oroville Between 2011 & 2014

 

Green Bridge Image by Paul Hames:California Department of Water Resources

The Green Bridge of Lake Oroville near the Bidwell Marina photographed in 2011 by Paul Hames/California Department of Water Resources

Green Bridge Image by Justin Sullivan:Getty Images

The Green Bridge of Lake Oroville near the Bidwell Marina photographed in 2014 by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images


Bidwell Marina Image by Paul Hames:California

The Bidwell Marina at Lake Oroville photographed in 2011 by Paul Hames/California

Bidwell Marina Image by Justin Sullivan:Getty Images

The Bidwell Marina at Lake Oroville photographed in 2014 by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images


Enterprise Bridge Image by Paul Hames:California Department of Water Resources

The Enterprise Bridge of Lake Oroville photographed in 2011 by Paul Hames/California Department of Water Resources

Enterprise Bridge Image by Justin Sullivan:Getty Images

The Enterprise Bridge of Lake Oroville photographed in 2014 by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images


Bidwell Marina at Lake Oroville Image by Paul Hames:California

The Bidwell Marina at Lake Oroville photographed in 2011 by Paul Hames/California

Bidwell Marina at Lake Oroville Image by Justin Sullivan:Getty Images

The Bidwell Marina at Lake Oroville photographed in 2014 by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images


Lake Oroville Image by Paul Hames:California Department of Water Resources

Bidwell Marina at Lake Oroville photographed in 2011 by Paul Hames/California Department of Water Resources

Lake Oroville Image by Justin Sullivan:Getty Images

Bidwell Marina at Lake Oroville photographed in 2014 by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images


This article was originally published in the Washington Post on August 28, 2014 and was written by 


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