California governor Jerry Brown recently declared an end to the state of emergency brought on by his state’s historically terrible drought. It’s a mid-level miracle, assisted by record rainfall earlier this year. If you don’t believe me, just look at these before and after images.
All photos: Justin Sullivan / Getty
The stark contrast between peak drought conditions of 2014 and the relative normalcy of 2017 means that marinas that were veritable desserts just a few seasons ago are now lush lakefronts. Rivers that had shrunk to a trickle now fill the valleys they once carved out of the Earth. Heck, even crispy brown fields of thirsty grass have become majestic green hills. That means the risk of wildfires is down, and Californians can lighten up about water usage.
Of course, the relatively water-rich conditions of April do not necessarily mean that California is free from the risk of a future drought. As Wired pointed out earlier this year, precipitation in the Golden State can fluctuate by as much as 50-per cent on a yearly basis. The effects of climate change could also make these fluctuations even more extreme. So enjoy the water while you’ve got it, Californians. God knows the Trump administration isn’t interested in doing anything about climate change.