Dramatic Photos of California's Historic Drought

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 82 percent of the state of California currently falls in the "Extreme Drought" category. The years-long dry spell has tapped groundwater reserves and left reservoirs at record lows. Shasta Lake and Lake Oroville are both down to 30% of full capacity, exposing steep shorelines that were formerly under hundreds of feet of water. Marinas are crowding into ever-smaller coves as the water recedes, and ramps and roads no longer reach the shoreline. Getty Images photographer Justin Sullivan traveled to a number of these reservoirs last month and captured dramatic images, evidence of the severity of the water crisis in California.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Lindsey Wasson / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Wooden Troll, Violin Boat, River Mary

    Scenes from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, wildfires in Turkey and Russia, a spacecraft in Earth’s orbit, migrants crossing the Mediterranean, flooding in China, and much more

  • David Swanson / Reuters

    Photos of California’s Dixie Fire

    Scenes from the Golden State’s largest wildfire of 2021 so far

  • Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

    Tokyo 2020: Images From the First Weekend of the Olympics

    Scenes from the first few days of Olympic competition in Japan

  • Yuichi Yamazaki / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Hazy Harbor, Hot Horse, Rocket Billionaire

    Preparation for the Tokyo Olympics, flood damage in Germany, Eid al-Adha prayers in Senegal, a crowded nightclub in London, a windy day in Montevideo, and much more