INFOGRAPHIC: How Bad Is California’s ‘Record’ Drought?

From the October 2014 Trumpet Print Edition

“We are facing the worst drought impact that we or our grandparents have ever seen,” State Water Board chair Felicia Marcus said on July 15. “And, more important, we have no idea when it will end.”

Across America, the economic and social impacts of California’s record drought are beginning to be felt—and they may soon get a lot worse. At the current usage rate, California has less than two years of water remaining.

The state’s snowpack, the source of roughly one third of the state’s drinking and agricultural water, is only at about 20 percent of its normal water content. Earlier this year, the state announced that 17 small communities were within 100 days of running out of drinking water.

The dramatic statistics on this infographic point to the severity of California’s current three-year drought. What they don’t tell is how bad the drought will be tomorrow.

The archaeological record points to far worse droughts in the past, including some that lasted more than 50 years. California’s current problems are only three years old.

What would the state that produces so much of the nation’s food, and is home to 38 million people, look like after an extended drought? This is what Californians should ask themselves. It has happened before. Actually, paleoclimatic data indicate that during the last 400 years, the U.S. has probably received some of the best weather North America has had to offer over the past 2,000—even considering the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.

The Bible prophesies that mega-droughts are on their way again.