The Changing Colors of the California Drought

Californians changed their habits and attitudes about water conservation and use over the last three years. They succeeded in a challenge to meet a tough but attainable goal of a reduction of water usage by 20% statewide. And Mother Nature came through at the 11th hour when we were all planning on a full sixth consecutive year of drought.

The big take away from the graphic below is that, as of March, 2017, nearly 77% of the state is not in any drought category. How about that? Further analysis of the graphic shows that none of California is in the Extreme or Exceptional Drought categories. Only one percent is in the Severe drought category, eight percent in Moderate Drought, 23% is shown to be Abnormally Dry. The changing colors (or lack-thereof) are as lovely as those along the shores of Walden Pond in Autumn, aren’t they?


Current Drought Percentages

None:  76.54%
Abnormally Dry:  23.46%
Moderate: 8.24%
Severe:  1.06%
Extreme:  0%
Extraordinary:  0%




March 2016 Drought Percentages

None:  .043%
Abnormally Dry:  99.57%
Moderate: 93.28%
Severe:  73.64%
Extreme:  55.31%
Extraordinary:  34.74%


U.S. Drought Monitor (California)

Cal OES Drought Resources

Save Our Water

Shawn Boyd

Shawn Boyd joined Cal OES as a public information officer in 2014 after a 20-year career in television news as a reporter, anchor and executive producer. He's a Cal State Sacramento alum and former US Navy yeoman and Air Force brat.

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