PHOTO ESSAY: California’s Drought Hurts Communities
California is suffering through one of the worst droughts in its history and some communities throughout the Central Valley have been devastated by its impacts.
The drought is a serious quality of life issue especially in small communities like Cantil (pictured below), which is a community located in California’s 23rd district.
In wet years, desert foliage helps lock the moisture in the ground preventing damaging soil erosion. However, the lack of foliage due to the drought has led families’ homes be consumed by sand.
While communities have tried to slow the erosion by erecting barriers around them, the sand continues to blow into their communities covering homes and roadways.
These barriers are at waist height and have already been overrun by the sand.
Lake Isabella (below) is one of California’s largest lakes, and is located in the heart of the Kern River Valley. The Lake can hold 568,000 acre feet of water and it is the lifeblood to those in Kern River Valley. Kern County residents depend on it for water and use it for their livelihood through small businesses that support tourists to the area.
Now, Lake Isabella is barely recognizable as a lake. One could walk from one end of the lake to the other without encountering water.
Small shubbery has taken over what once was the lakebed and it is not uncommon to see cattle grazing there.