As of May 13, every one of California’s 163,696 square miles was in drought, more than three-quarters of which were in the two most severe categories. Conditions are much worse that even the Drought Monitor can assess. Tree ring data, analyzed by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, indicates that this may be one of the worst dry periods in the state in the last half-millennium.
This map was created by graphic designer Erin Aigner, with research assistance from Aubrey Ann Parker and Brett Walton of Circle of Blue and Jeremy Miller, a California-based freelance journalist. Choke Point: Index , an investigation into the precarious condition of water in America’s farm regions, is produced in collaboration with Google Research, Qlikview, and the Columbia Water Center, with financial support from the Rockefeller Foundation. Contact Brett Walton