The California drought is so bad that...
â—† Since 2013, the Western United States has lost 240 gigatons of water, the journal Science has reported. One gigaton is 1 billion tons. 240 gigatons is equal to a 10-centimeter sheet of water covering the entire Western U.S., or 63 trillion gallons — roughly equivalent to the volume of 75,000 football stadiums.
â—† The loss of mass has altered California's gravitational field.
â—† Mountains rose up to a half an inch as the loss of water has made the earth more springy (i.e. less dense and able to expand).
+ ("Ongoing drought-induced uplift in the western United States," Science)
â—† Hydroelectric power output from dams has diminished, according to the Energy Department. Usually, hydropower accounts for 20 percent of California's energy generation. In the first half of 2014, it accounted for only 10 percent.
â—† 100 percent of the state is in drought, with 82 percent of the land designated as in "extreme" or "exceptional" drought, the highest levels on the U.S. Drought Monitor scale. Thirty-seven million people are affected by the drought.
â—† It's the state's worst drought since 1895, when such record keeping began.
â—† California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in January.