Photos of NorCal Waterways During the Last Two Droughts are Astonishing

The droughts of 2014 and 1976 were a desperate time in Northern California and we have the photos to prove it

During the drought of 2014, photos emerged of Northern California waterways that showed just how desperate we were for water. But if you go back to the last major drought before that in 1976, you will see our same waterways looking even more desperate.

The California Department of Water Resources released photos of four NorCal waterways during the 1976 and 2014 to show you the similarities between the two. The 1976 drought lasted about two years, with about half the annual precipitation during that span. The 2014 drought lasted more like four years – a slow burn.



Here are photos of four NorCal waterways during the droughts of 1976 and 2014:

Here are photos of Shasta Lake in 1976:

Here’s Shasta Lake in 2014:





Here’s what Folsom Lake looked like in 1976:

And here’s Folsom Lake in 2014:

Here’s a photo of the American River in 1977:

And here’s the American River in 2014:





And finally, Lake Oroville may have taken the hardest hit during the droughts. Here are photos of the lake from 1976:

And here it is in 2014:

Let’s hope we have to wait a LOOOONG time for our next drought!

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