PHOTOS: Drought Returns to California as Lake Oroville Drops Dramatically

Dry Lake Oroville 2021 (Justin Sullivan / Getty)
Justin Sullivan / Getty

California is on the verge of another drought, as the dry winter has led to alarmingly low water levels in Lake Oroville, one of the most important dams in the state.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has not yet declared a drought for the state, but recently declared a drought emergency for Mendocino and Sonoma counties. The Los Angeles Times notes that water levels at Lake Oroville, the highest dam in the country, “have dropped to 42% of its 3,537,577 acre foot capacity.”

Photos taken by Justin Sullivan of Getty Images show just how acute the lack of rainfall and snowmelt have become:

Dry Lake Oroville 2021 b (Justin Sullivan / Getty)

OROVILLE, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 27: In an aerial view, a truck drives on the Enterprise Bridge over a section of Lake Oroville on April 27, 2021 in Oroville, California. Four years after then California Gov. Jerry Brown signed an executive order to lift the California’s drought emergency, the state has re-entered a drought emergency with water levels dropping in the state’s reservoirs. Water levels at Lake Oroville have dropped to 42 percent of its 3,537,577 acre foot capacity. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Dry Lake Oroville 2021 c (Justin Sullivan / Getty)

OROVILLE, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 27: In an aerial view, water lines are visible on the steep banks of Lake Oroville on April 27, 2021 in Oroville, California. Four years after then California Gov. Jerry Brown signed an executive order to lift the California’s drought emergency, the state has re-entered a drought emergency with water levels dropping in the state’s reservoirs. Water levels at Lake Oroville have dropped to 42 percent of its 3,537,577 acre foot capacity. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Dry Lake Oroville 2021 d (Justin Sullivan / Getty)

OROVILLE, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 27: In an aerial view, houseboats are dwarfed by the steep banks of Lake Oroville on April 27, 2021 in Oroville, California. Four years after then California Gov. Jerry Brown signed an executive order to lift the California’s drought emergency, the state has re-entered a drought emergency with water levels dropping in the state’s reservoirs. Water levels at Lake Oroville have dropped to 42 percent of its 3,537,577 acre foot capacity. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Dry Lake Oroville 2021 e (Justin Sullivan / Getty)

OROVILLE, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 27: In an aerial view, low water levels are visible at Lake Oroville on April 27, 2021 in Oroville, California. Four years after then California Gov. Jerry Brown signed an executive order to lift the California’s drought emergency, the state has re-entered a drought emergency with water levels dropping in the state’s reservoirs. Water levels at Lake Oroville have dropped to 42 percent of its 3,537,577 acre foot capacity. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The state will not officially enter a drought emergency until Gov. Newsom declares one, making emergency services and funds available. Republicans have begun criticizing him for not doing so.

The California Department of Water Resources website notes: “Provisions of California’s Emergency Services Act have been used to declare a statewide drought emergency for only two of our droughts, the 2012 to 2016 event and its immediate predecessor in 2007-09.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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