Look at the Profound Difference Between California's Drought and California Today

All photos: Justin Sullivan / Getty

California governor Jerry Brown recently declared an end to the state of emergency brought on by his state’s historically terrible drought. It’s a mid-level miracle, assisted by record rainfall earlier this year. If you don’t believe me, just look at these before and after images.

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The stark contrast between peak drought conditions of 2014 and the relative normalcy of 2017 means that marinas that were veritable deserts just a few seasons ago are now lush lakefronts. Rivers that had shrunk to a trickle now fill the valleys they once carved out of the Earth. Heck, even crispy brown fields of thirsty grass have become majestic green hills. That means the risk of wildfires is down, and Californians can lighten up about water usage.

Of course, the relatively water-rich conditions of April do not necessarily mean that California is free from the risk of a future drought. As Wired pointed out earlier this year, precipitation in the Golden State can fluctuate by as much as 50-percent on a yearly basis. The effects of climate change could also make these fluctuations even more extreme. So enjoy the water while you’ve got it, Californians. God knows the Trump administration isn’t interested in doing anything about climate change.

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Folsom Lake Marina (March 2014 vs. April 2017)


Bidwell Marina at Lake Oroville (August 2014 vs. April 2017)

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Enterprise Bridge at Lake Oroville (August 2014 vs. April 2017)

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Bidwell Marina at Lake Oroville (August 2014 vs. April 2017)

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Enterprise Bridge at Lake Oroville (August 2014 vs. April 2017)

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Bidwell Marina at Lake Oroville (August 2014 vs. April 2017)

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Bidwell Marina at Lake Oroville (August 2014 vs. April 2017)

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Bernal Heights Park in San Francisco (July 2014 vs. April 2017)

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Senior editor at Gizmodo.

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DISCUSSION

AgentRockstar
AgentRockstar

While many people didn’t give two shits that there was a drought, shown by the way they showered and watered lawns and crap, I think it would have been best to let people keep thinking there was one. I mean conservation is a good practice regardless of how wet everything may be.

Then again, kind of a trip seeing so many places do such things as at an apartment complex near me, they got rid of all the plants and replaced it with a “desert” theme. Like sand everywhere. I’m right by the beach, why add sand to the landscape? Why not rocks? And I like trees, but what is it with the palm trees? Are they good for anything other than aesthetics?