20 devastating photos show what California's drought-stricken reservoirs look like now compared to a decade ago
California is in the middle of its fifth year in drought. Experts say it has been the worst the state has seen in 1,200 years.
Dwindling reservoirs, shrinking lakes, and dried-up farm fields dot the state's landscape — and despite some recent signs of recovery, the overall outlook is still ominously dry.
Across the state, reservoirs remain far below their capacity and, more importantly, far below their historical average. And California isn't alone. Last year, Dean Farrell of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill made a stunning interactive graphic showing the shrinking state of reservoirs across the western US. Still, California stands out, with its reservoirs at roughly 46% of their total capacity.
These images, taken by the USGS and NASA Landsat 7 and 8 satellites and collected by the online lake reference site Lakepedia, show what 10 California reservoirs looked like in September or October of 2001 ("before") and what each reservoir looked like in the same month of 2016 ("after").
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