Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Before and after: What losing 63 trillion gallons of water looks like

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.

For the past two weeks, California's drought picture has remained the same, halting a steady march toward worse. But the breather has allowed the state to recover only ever so slightly.

In May, 100 percent of California was experiencing "severe" drought — the third harshest on a five-level scale — but since things have leveled off, that figure has only improved to 99.8 percent, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor report.

Meanwhile, nearly 82 percent of California continues to suffer "extreme" drought, and within that area, more than half the state is under the driest "exceptional" drought category.

What about California's water supply? The Los Angeles Times reported California's three largest reservoirs are at roughly 30 percent capacity. 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. Folsom Lake, south of Lake Oroville, is currently at 40 percent of its total capacity.

The pairs of photographs above show the stark difference at Lake Oroville and Folsom Lake between 2011 and 2014.

Before and after: What losing 63 trillion gallons of water looks like 08/29/14 [Last modified: Friday, August 29, 2014 1:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Support for gay marriage surges, even among groups once wary

    Human Interest

    NEW YORK — In the two years since same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide, support for it has surged even among groups that recently were broadly opposed, according to a new national survey.

    People gather in Washington's Lafayette Park to see the White House lit up in rainbow colors on June 26, 2015, the day the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage legal. In the two years since same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide, support for it has surged even among groups that recently were broadly opposed, according to a new national survey released on Monday, June 26, 2017. [Associated Press]
  2. Florida inspired new group focused on improving how elections are run

    Blogs

    A new group run by two lawyers and veteran Democratic operatives specializing in voter protection efforts is launching a pilot program in Florida, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania to work with local elections officials to improve the voting process. Access Democracy, run by …

    Access Democracy wants to improve voter participation and how elections are run
  3. Super Nintendo is coming back to stores, and there's even a new (old) game

    Blogs

    If the overwhelming success of last year's NES Classic is any indication, you may want to get your hands on Nintendo's newly-announced Super NES Classic as soon as it becomes available this fall.

    Super Nintendo plans to release the Super NES Classic Edition.
  4. Dave Andreychuk going into Hall of Fame

    Blogs

    For Dave Andreychuk, the wait is finally over.

    Dave Andreychuk helped lead the Lightning to its only Stanley Cup in 2004.
  5. UPDATE: Rays finalizing deal to get SS Hechavarria for 2 minor-leaguers

    Blogs

    Hechavarria is a two-time Gold Glove finalist who could help settle the Rays sometimes leaky infield defense.

    Adeiny Hechavarria is a two-time Gold Glove finalist who could help settle the Rays sometimes leaky infield defense.