10 Consequences Of The California Drought

Photo of Vivek Mathew
14 February 2017

Many Californians have been forced to live with a little less water these days. California’s record-breaking drought is now in its fourth year. Unless you’re an A-list celebrity with a finely manicured lawn, everyday residents of the Golden State are now fighting to receive an ample amount of water while trying to conserve the precious natural resource. There are disputes to determine if the dry spell is caused by natural weather patterns or if it’s man-made climate change. However, the results of the drought are dramatically clear. Here are ten consequences of the California drought.

© Ian D. Keating/Flickr

California Governor Jerry Brown Ordered Statewide Water Restrictions

His lack of authority concerning the drought was highly criticized, but Governor Brown finally ordered a 25 percent cut in statewide water usage this year. Brown expects the reduction to total about 1.5 million acre-feet of water. The mandatory water restrictions are also the first in state history.

Masking the Problem of Brown Grass

Regularly-watered grass generally produces a rich color of green. Since the statewide restriction on water usage, most lawns have turned nature’s color of life into a dreary, brown. In response, some clever Californians have decided to paint their lawns green. The type of paint used will last up to 90 days and won’t wash off.

© Lauren Jong/Flickr

‘Drinking’ Your Own Urine

Last year, California invested $1 billion in purification plants that recycle waste water into viable drinking water. It’s an efficient answer when desperate times call for desperate measures.


Water Theft is a Problem

Reports are on the rise of people stealing water from various bodies of water. Recently, a significant portion of water disappeared from the SacramentoSan Joaquin Delta. The delta provides 23 million people in California with water.

© Fikret Onal/Flickr

Reservoir Water Levels Are Declining

The drought has brought on severe effects on reservoirs. Both Lake Oroville and Shasta Lake are at one-third of their capacity. Even more distressing is that New Melones Lake may be dry before next fall.

Incentives to Replace Your Turf Grass

Homeowners are eligible to receive $1 or more per square foot if they remove 250 square feet or more of turf. Residents can replace the turf with water-wise plants and permeable pavers instead.

© Adam Baker/Flickr

Hitting the Slopes May Have to Wait

Like having a white Christmas, precipitation of any kind remains to be just a dream for now. Many ski resorts in the Tahoe area closed early due to low snowfall.

© Charlie Day/Flickr

Ranchers Forced to Sell Cattle

Cattle in California have become radically underweight due to grazing land becoming barren. Hay has also become exceedingly scarce and expensive. As a result, ranchers have sold their cattle off to buyers out east.

© United States Department of Agriculture/Flickr

Wildfire Season is Here to Stay

The drought has caused parched land throughout the state. Dry conditions have allowed wild fires to increase with intensity. Rising temperatures have further aggravated the risk of wildfires. Firefighters are looking for alternative water sources since some holding ponds have dried up.

© United States Department of Agriculture/Flickr

Migrant Workers Are Being Laid Off

Harsh drought conditions have created limited sources of water for farmers. They’re unable to water their crops due to the dry weather. Some farmers are even leaving acres of farmland unplanted. Laborers are either losing their jobs or facing a reduction in hours because of the drought.

Cookies Policy

We and our partners use cookies to better understand your needs, improve performance and provide you with personalised content and advertisements. To allow us to provide a better and more tailored experience please click "OK"